Renee Kinder

Tuesday night was pizza night at the Kinder home.

We all crowded around the television, pizza and leftover Halloween candy in hand, and watched national and local election results come in.

Media was live from the television, phones, tables and computers.

At times, with all seven of us together, activity overwhelmed the room.

Our eldest child now has a class in school specific to government, and his questions never end. What do these percentiles mean?

When will someone reach 270? 

What do you mean this is not going to be decided tonight?

Then a bit of goodness, our son reads us a social media post from one of his friend’s mothers.

Hold on, Mom, he said. I am reading something from John’s mom. She is telling us to “Choose Kindness.”

Just the right message we needed. She went on to give guidance on being a good neighbor and contributing to your community. 

Kindness, accepting others, recognizing, and appreciating the differences in others. 

Sounds familiar to me.

In recent years, we have seen this same movement in our industry towards kindness, person-centered care, and developing our care plans based not on cookie cutter templates but honoring and embracing the differences in those we serve daily.

The Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act (IMPACT Act), Requirements of Participation (RoPs), and the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) are all rooted in encouraging us to improve the quality of care we provide by increasing our focus on knowing our patients as determiners in their care, not simply receivers of care. 

  • The IMPACT Act supports the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services initiative “Meaningful Measures.” This new initiative identifies the high priorities for quality measurement and improvement. It demonstrates how improved outcomes for beneficiaries are being achieved through focusing on quality measures and core issues that are the most critical to providing high-quality care.
    • The Meaningful Measure priority areas are:
      • Promote effective communication and coordination of care
      • Promote effective prevention and treatment of chronic disease
      • Work with communities to promote best practices of healthy living
      • Make care affordable
      • Make care safer by reducing harm, cost in the delivery of care
      • Strengthen person and family engagement as partners in their care
  • Requirements of Participation (RoP) improved our focus and defined person-centered care, comprehensive care planning, resident rights, quality of life and quality of care among other areas. We have also seen increased focus on personal engagement as a result of survey shifts and the use of critical element pathways as a result of participation changes. 
  • PDPM eliminated volume-based incentives and improved the overall accuracy and appropriateness of SNF payments by classifying patients into payment groups based on specific, data-driven patient characteristics. 

Perhaps we could all learn a few things from the CMS. 

They have implemented changes to guide us to choose kindness. Now it is up to us to carry on. 

Renee Kinder, MS, CCC-SLP, RAC-CT, is Executive Vice President of Clinical Services for Broad River Rehab 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).