Thursday, April 20, 2017

Kindred Might Sell Whole Company


It seems like yesterday Kindred was the dark suitor for Gentiva, a hospice and home health giant.  Gentiva CEO Tony Strange held off Kindred's Paul Diaz until the deal price reached an appropriate premium, meaning Gentiva executives would be set for life.

Kindred has been shopping its long term care division and has multiple bidders.  Executives say they could deal the whole company.  "The company says there is also interest in a complete buyout, an option it will be 'willing to engage' if the premium makes sense."

Our hospice has been through multiple buyouts and our employees don't get jack.  Executives rake it in, as can be seen in their change in control compensation.

Our site has been impacted by a deal every two years on average. Not one has made us better. Not one company has treated employees as partners.  Every one has reduced benefits for employees and services for patients.

We should be used to such organizational trauma as often as it happens.  Our hospice may have a slick new owner soon, one that mouths the right words while carving up our hides and taking from our wallets.

I pray Kindred becomes employee owned. That is the only way leadership balance can return and the employee voice can actually be heard.  Right now it is nonexistent.

Anonymous (from Kindredinplay)

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Kindred Close to Flipping Farber House for Big Loss

Strange Tony,

Kindred has a contingent contract on the Glenview Avenue home it purchased from Chief Financial Officer Stephen Farber to solve an un-neighborly conflict.  The contingent sale price is $200,000 below the $2.15 million Kindred paid Farber in December 2015.  The company will lose much more on the house as it installed a private driveway, which at one point had an estimated $300,000 price tag. 

That's quite an executive subsidy.  My hospice co-workers struggle to pay for prescriptions and physician visits under our ever worsening health insurance.  For many there is nothing left to set aside for retirement as bills increase far more than company pay. 

Kindred President Ben Breier thanked employees for helping him make $7 million last year.  His outlandish pay is a "direct result of our efforts."  I'm not sure how he and his fellow C-Suiters can sleep at night.  Surely they know they can't take it with them.

As social workers, nurses, and chaplains we get the joy of being with, listening to and helping hospice patients and their families.  That blessing is the balm for Kindred's dismissive stance on our needs for living. 

Happy Easter!  May it bring renewal, peace, joy and a focus on things eternal.

Anonymous (from Kindred which has a $7 million man)

Friday, April 7, 2017

Kindred Accelerates Nursing Turnover Strategy

Strange Tony,

Kindred Hospice designed and implemented new procedures that are driving our hospice nurses away.  The basic features are:

1)  Nurses must enter information into the computer using various forms, including the form the team prepares for our regular Interdisciplinary Team (IDT) meetings.
2)  Nurses must have the IDT form completed in the computer two days prior to IDT for supervisors to review.
3)  Nurses must update the IDT form with new information that arises in the forty eight hours between electronic submission and the actual IDT meeting.  After completing and updating computerized forms nurses must park their electronic medical record device outside the IDT room.
4)  Nurses must be prepared to discuss each patient during IDT.  As they are not allowed to use the computer they used to perform steps 1-3 nurses must create paper documents that pull together key clinical information from a number of computerized clinical forms.  Our nurses are relegated to hand scribing, a tool that existed prior to the printing press, for sharing the written word.  The company has no plans to create this optimal IDT discussion document in the computer system so nurses can press print and meet the company's expectations.  
5)  The nurse cannot make a correction or enter a physician's order during IDT.  They must scribble notes on paper to remind them of computer entries they must make after IDT.  This separation in time and space from the original doctor's medication order introduces an increased opportunity for error at both the nurse's and physician's end.
6)  Phone use is prohibited in IDT.  Nurses are not allowed to take calls, text or use any of their smartphone functions during IDT.
7)  Management can assign any task at any time to any nurse, a death, patient care crisis or admission, and it does not alleviate expectations 1-6.
8)  Nurses must fulfill their clinical load plus the computerized and paper procedures in expectations 1-7 during their 40 hour work week.  Overtime is an absolute no no.
9)  Any nurse that cannot meet expectations 1-8 with a smile and happy face is clearly incompetent and has a bad attitude.  They must be micromanaged, which consists of 99.9% criticism and 0.01% neutral feedback.  Positive judgments are prohibited by branch management and Kindred's Human Abuse department.

The rules are different for nurse managers:

10)  Nurse manager work is too important to take them away for menial tasks like patient visits or a customer service crisis.
11)  Nurse manager work is so stressful that they must take frequent breaks to catch their breath, chit chat in each other's offices and plan what their clique will have for lunch.
12)  Nurse manager work is so routine that they can enter the building at 8:00 am and leave at 5:00 pm each and every day.  
13)  Nurse managers, who don't see patients or know their sex, race or name they like to be called, are allowed to have their computer, use their personal phones for calls and texting, and e-mail one another during the IDT meeting.
14)  Nurse managers endorse and enforce Kindred's opposition to multi-tasking, distributed real-time information sharing and timely processing of physician orders to ensure accuracy.  Nurse managers say "Comply with what does not make sense and maybe corporate will give us permission to do what does makes sense."  That in itself is a form of abuse.

Kindred's nurse turnover strategy is already effective in driving away skilled and competent nurses.  It's early in its rollout.  An exodus is building at our site.

Kindred loves metrics.  Employee turnover increased under Kindred at Home President David Causby.  It rose from 22.6% in 2015 to 23.6% in 2016.   For driving more people away Causby got $245,344 of his $2.7 million in executive compensation for 2016.

How much of our hospice will be left when Kindred at Home President David Causby qualifies for his next $1 million bonus on August 1, 2017?  I expect our nurse quitting statistic to enter record territory.

Anonymous (from the Kindred Kindergarten)

Postscript -- On May 4, 2017 Kindred President Ben Brier said in the first quarter earnings call "We’re going have is we've now talked about, the biggest, I would argue, best run, I would argue most valuable home health, hospice and community care business asset probably anywhere in the country."