Kindred executive urges Senate to test payment reforms, put off Medicare cuts

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Kindred CEO Paul Diaz
Kindred CEO Paul Diaz

A top nursing home industry executive made a case against Medicare cuts and in favor of payment and delivery reforms in long-term and post-acute care in a Senate hearing Wednesday.

Kindred Healthcare CEO Paul Diaz, in testimony before the influential Senate Finance Committee, emphasized a need for more innovation in testing payment models, echoing similar concerns expressed recently by industry experts.

He said that the current “silo-based” delivery system too often results in “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.”

Diaz also pushed Senators to consider the impact of further Medicare cuts, including the impending 2% sequestration cut to Medicare payments beginning in January 2013. Such reductions could “cause a level of instability that I fear will prevent the kind of innovation needed to transform our healthcare system,” Diaz told committee members.

The hearing, titled “Progress in Health Care Delivery: Innovations from the Field,” featured healthcare executives from: insurer United Healthcare; Renaissance Medical Management, which was just named as a participant in the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization Model; and Advocate Health Care.

Click here to listen to an archived webcast of the full hearing.