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Kindred CEO urges Senate to delay Medicare cuts, consider payment reforms

May 24, 2012
by Patricia Sheehan
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Kindred Healthcare CEO Paul Diaz on Wednesday lobbied against Medicare cuts and urged reforms in payment and delivery systems in long-term and post-acute care in a U.S. Senate Finance Committee hearing.

Diaz urged the committee "to consider the impact of additional payment cuts—including the impending 2 percent sequestration cut to Medicare payments beginning in January 2013 and continuing for 10 years—on our ability to continue the kinds of innovation pilots I have described today,” referring to Kindred's reported healthcare delivery innovations.

Diaz also observed that today's current "silo-based" healthcare delivery system "results in a lack of coordination among providers, confusion about how to transition patients, when to transition, what is the most appropriate setting and how to continue the care in a seamless way from provider to provider." This inefficient delivery system, he continued, "results in fragmented care including unnecessary hospitalizations, a major focus of policymakers and providers. This system is also not ideal from a payment perspective. Because providers are paid each time the patient has an encounter with the healthcare system, there is little incentive for coordination of care and this system can produce redundancy in services and higher than necessary costs."

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