Gentiva surprised with poor earnings and a huge asset write down for the 4th quarter. Wall Street analysts must be tired of hearing promises from CEO Tony Strange, especially in the hospice arena.
If Gentiva's corporate chiefs couldn't understand hospice as a single division, how will they gain a greater understanding by placing hospice with home health and community care? Add that Area Vice Presidents saw the number of sites they support doubling or tripling under OneGentiva and the learning curve steepens.
Generally confusion precedes higher order learning, however I don't hear anyone from corporate asking questions. I'll offer a few that apply to our particular hospice:
1. Why is our site losing good, caring, talented hospice nurses by the carload?
2. Why aren't nurses beating at our doors to work with the best hospice physicians in town (by far)?
3. Why is staff leaving our hospice to work for other nearby hospices, when they used to leave hospice altogether?
4. What impact does our obscene level of turnover have on patients, families and referral sources?
5. How do staff, the people providing the care, feel about the support they receive from above, site level and corporate?
6. How do our hospice physicians feel about high nursing turnover and their endless job of helping to train new hospice nurses (with the good ones lasting but a year)?
7. Why do talented, caring staff continue to work hard despite miniscule salary increases and a 40 hour cut in PTO accrual at each step?
8. How many ways and in what manner has corporate cut the quality of our hospice service via top down edicts in the last three years?
9. What, if anything, has corporate actually done to be the employer of choice for hospice in our community? How many ways and in what manner has corporate ensured our site is not the hospice employer of choice locally?
10. How many times does corporate plan to take away over a decade of brand recognition with yet another name change?
11. Why does communication only go one way in this company, top down?
Answers to these questions, properly heard, could be transformational. Here's the only measure I believe corporate uses to evaluate our site: Are you meeting budget and EBDITA targets? If not, CEO Tony Strange spoke of the consequence:
While the elimination of jobs and the abandoning of underserved markets has always been painful for organization, we enter 2014 much better aligned across our platform with the added value of an improved cost structure to help offset some of the impact of the rate cuts.Anything else is fluff, window dressing, stuff Gentiva executives say to sound like regular human beings, like the hearty thanks to employees at the end of Strange's prepared remarks.
In closing, I want to thank all of our employees for the compassion that you bring to our patient's home each and every day.How many employees' received a 2013 W-2 that was less than their 2012? I'd venture those employees don't feel the least bit appreciated by the company.
Today's earnings call let me know corporate manages as poorly as our site leader. Corporate chiefs disappointed on the only measure they seemingly care about.
Our company's picture could not be bleaker for those who care about delivering great hospice service. How long can caregivers with talent and standards endure? Not much longer at our site.