Friday, February 27, 2015

Gendred Unleashed

I offer a new moniker for the Gentiva-Kindred combination, Gendred.  It sets the tone for Kindred, which took on massive debt to integrate Gentiva, a company with remarkable skills in driving away employees and referral sources.

It fits a company with a new COO from private equity. Healthcare leaders should have better things to talk about than optimizing capital structure.  What happened to providing quality service and doing what's actually in the best interest of the patient?  Those questions are nowhere to be found at our hospice site.

Private equity focuses on financial machinations, most of which trample the people side of the equation.  This perspective fits with Gentiva's tone deaf Human Resources.  I expect Gendred to build on this existing Human Abuse department. 

Gentiva financially engineered much of Harden's value into thin air in 2014, evaporating $16 to $26 million in adjusted EBITDA and $110 to $210 million in expected revenues.  Kindred leaders failed to mention Gentiva executives' initial promises for the Harden integration.  Instead Paul Diaz was effusive in his praise for beating revised lower mid-year expectations. 

Gentiva's senior executives drove more value from the company between Kindred's due diligence and the deal's closing.  Their service reduction strategies took down our site's customer service scores by several notches.  How might Gendred further ignore patients, family members, employees and referral sources? 

Gendred promised there would be "few changes" at the local or site level.  Word has it "few" will change into "many." The company's strategy to delever will require accelerated cost cutting.  The question is how much revenue Gendred will drive away in the process?  Although Gendred is a mere four weeks old I'm concerned it may already have nasty teeth, the slicing, slashing, mashing and gnashing kind.

Walmart's CEO wrote recently to his thousands of employees:

We also made a few changes aimed at productivity and efficiency that undermined the feeling of ownership some of you have for your business.  When we take a step back, it’s clear to me that one of our highest priorities must be to invest more in our people this year.
In other words executives overreached, made our service worse and put our employees in positions where they could not be successful.  Gentiva did that very thing last summer while Kindred conducted due diligence on the merger. Walmart's CEO stepped back, turned away, repented.  It's not clear Gendred has the capacity to do the same.

Kindred carries on Gentiva's abysmal leadership at our site.  There is no listening, no understanding, thus no ability to address root causes or test appropriate interventions.  Managers deny frequent service failures and defend vendors providing hapless service to our patients.

Only Gendred's managers have brains.  No other input is warranted or desired.  I'm continually amazed by unilateral actions taken by Gendred management.  Their actions are not serious, not credible, as they don't understand relationships and miss causes by the widest margin.

Gendred's managers go out of their way to limit information and feedback.  Questions are used to garner tidbits that support their distorted views of employees, our site and our community.  They don't know a one of us, much less our team, not in the least.

I consider many people heroes for speaking truths and providing outstanding care amidst absurd limitations.  Gendred's mendacious managers deride truth tellers, regularly affixing them with a negative label.  Our staff do their best to ignore these highly paid, small minded management miscreants by continuing to deliver great care.  I see fewer good people with each passing day.

Here's a hint Gendred executives:  Managers invoking defensive routines, like name calling or labeling, are not listening.  I can't use the word leaders.  It's a sorry lot.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Kindred's Staff Turnover

In 2013 Kindred's home health, hospice and personal care division, now known as Kindred at Home, had 38% employee turnover on an annualized basis.  Buyouts create an environment where positions are eliminated and employees have little to no allegiance to the new owner.  Some may find the company better together.  Alternatives include badder together, better apart and bitter together. 

If Kindred performs like Gentiva while it integrated Harden, millions in revenue and scores of people will be lost.  No matter the slick language used to deceive, cost cutting resulted in service level reductions at our site.  Gentiva employees already know the damage from absurd expectations with ever constrained resources.   

Gentiva drove the heart out of our hospice.  Kindred may or may not bring it back.  The next few weeks will be informative.  Will Kindred continue the insanity?  I'm praying for the company to turn around, to repent.  If not, maybe HealthSouth will want experienced hospice staff.