I dreamt Kindred at Home President David Causby met with senior hospice leaders in search of savings for the remainder of 2016 and 2017. This came despite Gentiva's extraordinary contribution to Kindred's financial health:
Gentiva currently makes up about half of the company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization “which is pretty significant.”
My dream visioned how hospice functions might be centralized to drive cost savings and raise margins. I saw a new CBO, Centralized Bereavement Office, where the bereaved can call for help with their grief?
I heard the company's phone response to a calling griever:
You've reached Kindred at Home Hospice's Centralized Bereavement Office. Our hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Central Louisville time. Please listen to the following options as our menu has changed. If you are grieving the death of a spouse in English, press 1. Para Espanol, marque Dos. For Cajun, shout "TREE." If your loved one died before you signed the mandatory arbitration clause for dispute resolution - Kindred at Home Hospice bereavement services are not available to you at this time. Thank you and have a great day!"
When I hung up my smart phone spoke to me:
"Hello, I'm CORE (pronounced CORRIE). I'm your hospice social worker."
I told CORE that I did not need a social worker She replied:
"God forbid you ever need hospice, but should you, I'll be glad to help with your social service needs."
I told CORE we have five talented social workers and I would not need her service She said:
There are no longer five social workers at your site. I am the exclusive social worker for all Kindred at Home-formerly Gentiva Hospices. Once our re-branding is complete someone will update this message."
I rushed to our site to find five empty offices. The name posted next to each door was CORE BITDAR.
I needed someone to talk to so I called our Chaplain on call. Instead of my dear, wise friend I got:
Hello. Welcome to Kindred's Chaplain by Phone line. God is closer to you than the phone you are holding to your ear. If you are using a microphone and earbud please adjust accordingly. If what you've heard thus far has not provided you comfort please remain on the line and a person of faith will be with you shortly.
Your call will be answered in the order it was received. Kindred at Home Hospice's spiritual care coordinators specialize in providing customized spiritual support at key junctures in the dying process. Please answer a few questions that will help our staff better meet your needs. Press 1 if you believe in God, 2 if you believe there is no God and 3 if you are agnostic.
Beep. Your expected wait time to be served is ____ minutes. There are _____ people (believers, atheists or ignoramuses) ahead of you in the Kindred at Home Hospice bereavement queue.
Kindred at Home Hospice believes matters of faith are individual and personal. That's why we set up Kindred at Home Hospice's 24 hour a day Chaplain by Phone service. If you are a struggling griever please hang up and call the Kindred at Home Hospice Centralized Bereavement Office. Your courtesy in this regard will enable our chaplains to serve patients and families yet to experience the tragic loss of their beloved. Thank you and have a great day!
I was not having a great day at all. I just needed someone to talk with, someone who I knew and cared. Surely, one of our big hearted, giving volunteers was around. Our Volunteer Coordinator's office had large chains on the door. The sign said to go to www.KindredatHomeHopsiceVolunteerbyDroneservice.com.
What the ...? Kindred leaders instituted a Volunteer by Drone service.
Their website read:
Drones currently provide most of the tasks historically performed by a human volunteer. A drone can hover in a patient's living room providing an extra set of Kindred eyes for reassurance (Note: drone recharging times may vary).
Should you or your loved one live in a high crime area Kindred offers the option of an armed drone. Kindred's trained staff would have the sole ability to engage the drone's security features.
This Kindred at Home Hospice - Personal Home Drone Security Service (KAHH-PHDSS) is provided for an extra fee as it is not a core part of Medicare's hospice benefit.
When I awoke I was sure Causby and company had their thinking caps on as to how to reduce heads, the employee kind, while centralizing critical functions. I venture they want Kindred at Home Hospice employees gathered en masse for potential leadership interventions. Proximity makes it easier to apply management attention, which expressly excludes compensation increases or any form of sincere thank you. It's a corral and control function.
Cost savings, also known as sinergies, are needed to drive executive pay. Sinergies will arrive a multitude of ways, most poorly planned and woefully executed. It's Kindred where "Executive Pay Matters." The rest, not so much.
Anonymous (wishing Kindred was just a bad dream)