Monday, February 29, 2016

Who Do Kindred Execs Appreciate?


Kindred CEO Ben Breier opened yesterday's earnings call with:

"Let me start as I usually do by extending my deep appreciation on behalf of the entire leadership team to our more than 100,000 teammates across the country. Each day our partners at Kindred work hard to improve the lives of more the 1 million patients we care for annually. The excellent care delivery and clinical outcomes we generate are the direct results of their efforts."
The 40,000 from Gentiva don't feel the least bit appreciated by the leadership team if they've encountered our benefit reductions for 2016.  I'd be shocked if the other 60,000 feel appreciated given Kindred eliminated their retirement match in 2012.

Recent actions show who the leadership team appreciated.

Kindred's Chief People Officer has not been clear at all with former Gentiva associates on reductions in healthcare, retirement and sick leave benefits.  Kindred recently removed a hospice policy that committed to paying people equitably on an internal and external basis.

CEO Ben Breier talked repeatedly about Kindred's over $300 million in cash flow.  Surely a portion of that could return a 2% retirement match, provide health insurance employees can afford to use and ensure employees are paid fairly and equitably for the work they perform for the company.  It's clear they'd rather pay themselves. 

Anonymous (from Kindredful)

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Kindred's Best Practices Involve Paper and Multiple Levels of Approval


Gentiva's integration with Kindred nears completion and it feels like a walk back in time.  Many processes, especially those involving human resources, have become more complex and time consuming as Kindred eliminates systems that allowed employees to update their basic payroll, benefit and retirement information.  What used to be done with the click of a mouse and typing a few keys now requires completing multiple paper forms, submitting those in triplicate and waiting for several layers of corporate people to deign their approval.

Kindred's integration has generated 8-10 hours of work per week for me that did not exist under Gentiva.  This clearly is bureaucratic and not value added.  A Kindred executive told our site last week that the human resource integration has been horrific, botched, butchered.  That's exactly what I felt trying to navigate the hazy benefit maze last fall, attempting to complete the myriad of requirements for the wellness incentive (to avoid a health insurance penalty) and working to understand our actual vs. fictional benefits in 2016.

Retirement and sick leave are two of the more puzzling ones for Gentiva folks to understand.  My coworkers and I can't get anyone to give us real answers in either category.   Calls to the contracted out benefit line result in transfers to additional contractors.  Neither group has been able to clarify what should be clear and apparent.  What is the retirement match, if any, and how can staff actually use sick leave for an illness that goes past the first two days of PTO?  Tertiary contractor representatives from T. Rowe Price and UNUM have answered staff questions with "the company has not given us that information."

I said long ago human resources turned into the human abuse department, apparently for strategic purposes.  A Kindred executive finally agreed with me.  I wonder if the "hub" is short for hubris. 

Anonymous (from Kindredful)

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Anniversary Celebration: Causby Collects, Wallace and Riedman Sell


The anniversary date of Gentiva's buyout by Kindred Healthcare went without a party.  There was no celebration at our hospice site over joining Kindred.  I don't think one person mentioned it.  We were too busy doing things by paper that used be done by computer, trying to understand what actual benefits remain from our Gentiva days and wondering how to get points to keep our company discount for new health insurance, which pales in comparison to the old and many cannot afford to use. 

Meanwhile Kindred at Home President David Causby collected the first part of his stock grant of 53,077 shares.  He received 17,693 shares of Kindred stock.  On February 2, 2015 Kindred's stock closed at $18.22.  A year later it closed at $9.49, down $8.73 per share.  That's a 48% decline in stock performance. 

Oddly, Kindred's new Chief Operating Office sold over 5,700 shares from his monster stock grant for the same $9.49 per share.  Days earlier General Counsel Suzanne Riedman sold over 12,000 shares for $9.66 a share. 

These executives may have enjoyed Kindred's anniversary of acquiring Gentiva, especially with the proceeds from their stock grants and subsequent sales. For the rest of us there was little to celebrate. 

Anonymous (from Gindred)