Anaheim, CA - On Saturday November 16, Kendra Milliron, Alana HealthCare’s Director of Transitional Care Operations, was recognized as Specialty Practitioner of the Year for Long-Term Care by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC).
Kendra Milliron joined Alana in April as part of the company’s continued growth into health management. She is a respiratory therapist with more than two decades of experience designing and implementing transitional care partnerships to care for high-acuity respiratory patients. Over the course of her career, Kendra came to specialize in proactive patient care of the prolonged mechanical ventilation patient population. She has built and managed clinical teams to develop ventilator-weaning protocols, predictive models, and operational systems for skilled nursing facility-based care. Her knowledge was instrumental in the expansion of ventilator-weaning care models on a global scale that are now utilized in 13 countries on 3 continents.
Since April of this year, Kendra has worked with Alana’s team of respiratory therapists to design and launch respiratory-focused partnerships with skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) known as CROM™ Transitional Care Units (TCUs). Alana’s signature respiratory health management program, Comprehensive Respiratory Outcome Management (CROM™), was launched in early 2012. The program pairs respiratory therapists with patients living with various chronic and neurological respiratory conditions. The therapists work with them in their homes, engaging in a comprehensive education and rehabilitation process that is designed to improve their quality of life, enable greater independence and keep them out of the hospital. To date, the program has cut hospitalizations, readmissions and days spent in the hospital by as much as 45, 41 and 50%, respectively. The CROM™ program has partnered with physicians, hospitals and payers to deliver care for more than 900 home patients to date.
Kendra and her team are leveraging those successes for patients being discharged from the hospital, yet still require various levels of clinical oversight. For Kendra, delivering outcomes in transitional care is all about partnerships. “Respiratory patients can have tracheostomies, require ventilation, and face a host of other complex challenges,” said Milliron. “The key to their success is through partnerships whereby hospital case managers can ensure the patient will be properly cared for upon discharge, skilled nursing facilities provide a safe environment conducive to education and rehabilitation; and, highly experienced respiratory therapists can build strong relationships with the patient and their family to develop the skills and understanding necessary for self-management. That is what leads to patients leaving the hospital, staying out of the hospital and continuing to lead a productive life.”
Alana launched the first CROM™ TCU in July at The Healthcare Center at West Meade Place, a skilled nursing facility serving patients in Middle Tennessee. According to James Wright, the facility’s administrator, “programs like these are proving necessary for hospitals now, and will prove essential for SNFs before long.” While hospitals are already being penalized for patient readmissions, SNFs aren’t. However, that is expected to change. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 2014 budget proposal recommends reducing payments by up to 3% for SNFs that are determined to have high rates of preventable hospital readmissions. The proposed penalties would take effect in 2017, with an estimated $2.2 billion in savings over 10 years. Additionally, from 2010 to 2012, SNF median net income has declined by nearly half to less than 1 percent. As SNFs are forced to respond to regulatory and financial pressures, Alana’s CROM™ Transitional Care Units will continue to prove both necessary and effective.
Earlier this year Alana opened three CROM™ TCUs, including West Meade Place in Nashville, the Meadowbrook Health and Rehabilitation Center in Pulaski, TN, and the Brian Center for Health & Rehabilitation in Spruce Pine, NC. By the end of 2013, Kendra will lead a team of respiratory therapists to open two additional TCUs in the Knoxville area at Summitview Farragut and Summitview Lake City. In the coming year Kendra and her team at Alana are planning to launch upwards of ten additional CROM™ Transitional Care Units in Tennessee and the surrounding states, bringing the total number to 15. “Kendra’s ability to inspire, lead and deliver results has already played a key role in shaping the future of our organization,” stated Justin Schneider, president of Alana HealthCare. “I am happy to see her receive this award from the AARC for the work she has done until now, and I foresee her receiving additional recognition in the coming years.”
For more information, contact Dov Hirsch, Vice President of Corporate Communications.
Phone: 615-375-1094, Ext. 362