Renee Kinder

Simon Sinek, an author who is known by many as an eternal optimist, encourages his readers in his most recent book “The Infinite Game” to consider the question, “How do we win a game that has no end?” 

As a promotional blurb for the book notes:

Infinite games, Sinek explains, like football or chess, the players are known, the rules are fixed, and the endpoint is clear. The winners and losers are easily identified.

In infinite games, like business or politics or life itself, the players come and go, the rules are changeable, and there is no defined endpoint. 

There are no winners or losers in an infinite game; there is only ahead and behind.

The more Simon started to understand the difference between finite and infinite games, the more he began to see infinite games all around us. He started to see that many of the struggles that organizations face exist simply because their leaders were playing with a finite mindset in an infinite game.

These organizations tend to lag behind in innovation, discretionary effort, morale and ultimately performance.

The leaders who embrace an infinite mindset, in stark contrast, build stronger, more innovative, more inspiring organizations. Their people trust each other and their leaders. They have the resilience to thrive in an ever-changing world, while their competitors fall by the wayside. 

Ultimately, they are the ones who lead the rest of us into the future.

Simon now believes that the ability to adopt an infinite mindset is a prerequisite for any leader who aspires to leave their organization in better shape than they found it. 

Leaders who embrace an infinite mindset build stronger, more innovative, more inspiring organizations. Ultimately, they are the ones who lead us into the future. (Source: The Infinite Game Simon)

Sinek’s book was my first audible listen of the year.

I couldn’t help, while absorbing the guidance in the text, to think of how useful the themes are to all of us as healthcare providers in understanding and appreciating infinite approaches to care. 

My initial blog for 2020 provided insight on the new PDGM home health model impacting our industry, the similar themes we see between PDGM and PDPM, and encouraged providers to continue clinical focus across care teams, improving the ability to achieve outcomes for those we serve and effectively transitioning to the safest and least restrictive settings of care.

This week, I would like to challenge you all to take your understanding of the similarities we are seeing in the post-acute care spectrum payment systems, goals and IMPACT Act, and consider the infinite game that may be before us.

Remember the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014, or IMPACT Act of 2014, is intended to change and improve Medicare’s post-acute care services and how they are reported.

What are some areas providers should remain tuned in to?

  1. MedPAC is meeting this week. One issue brief encompasses comparison of care across the post-acute care spectrum in a  presentation titled: Assessing payment adequacy and updating payments: Skilled nursing facility services, home health care services, inpatient rehabilitation facility services, and long-term care hospital service. This focus further supports the fact that we all need to concentrate on the infinite game for our patients beyond our individual settings in isolation.
  2. SPADES! CMS is proposing standardized patient assessment data elements for five categories specified in the IMPACT Act. These categories are:
  • Cognitive function (e.g., able to express ideas and to understand normal speech) and mental status (e.g., depression and dementia)
  • Special services, treatments, and interventions (e.g., need for ventilator, dialysis, chemotherapy, and total parenteral nutrition)
  • Medical conditions and comorbidities (e.g., diabetes, heart failure, and pressure ulcers)
  • Impairments (e.g., incontinence; impaired ability to hear, see, or swallow)
  • Other categories as deemed necessary by the Secretary

3. Increased data tracking efforts within and across settings which will be achievable in draft 10-10-2020 MDS updates. New elements being added will allow CMS to track data from start to end of care (i.e. discharge) in areas of cognition, transfer of health information to provider and patient, special services, discharge to community, and health literacy. 

In closing, if you need a good read for and your team in the new year, you now have a recommendation.

I hope your 2020 will continue to evolve into a year of identifying a just cause, having it guide your infinite game planning, and us coming together as post-acute teams for those we serve. 

Renee Kinder, MS, CCC-SLP, RAC-CT, is Vice President of Clinical Services for Encore Rehabilitation and a 2019 APEX Award of Excellence winner in the Writing–Regular Departments & Columns category. Additionally, she serves as Gerontology Professional Development Manager for the American Speech Language Hearing Association’s (ASHA) gerontology special interest group, is a member of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine community faculty, and is an advisor to the American Medical Association’s Relative Value Update Committee (RUC) Health Care Professionals Advisory Committee (HCPAC).