Benjamin A. Breier will take over the helm at Kindred Healthcare, replacing long-time CEO Paul Diaz, who will become the executive vice chairman of the board of directors, according to an announcement from the company today. Breier, who currently serves as Kindred’s president and COO, will take over the CEO position in March.
The news comes less than three weeks after Kindred and Gentiva Health Services announced their merger, a coupling that had followed months of aggressive takeover bidding. The merger made Kindred the country's largest operator of long-term acute care hospitals and inpatient rehabilitation facilities and the largest provider of rehabilitation, home health and hospice services.
"I am honored by the opportunity to lead a dynamic organization like Kindred, and I look forward to continuing the mission of making post-acute care more efficient and accessible to the nation’s healthcare beneficiaries,” Breier said today in a news release. “Paul led Kindred through an amazing organizational transformation over the last decade. I am fortunate that, in his new role, he will assist me in the transition and be actively involved in supporting critical areas, including advancing our public policy agenda, network development and strategic planning."
Diaz, who has served as Kindred's CEO for a decade, applauded Breier’s talents and said "the time is right for me and my family to transition from the day-to-day leadership of the company."
The combined company "strengthens our ability to serve patients across the full continuum of care—from the hospital to the home. Together we will create the industry leading provider of home-based, patient-centered care, solidifying our position at the forefront of the care delivery model that is preferred by patients and payers," Breier had said in comments about the merger earlier this month.