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LIVING CENTERS OF AMERICA ANNOUNCES CREATION OF PROGRESSIVE CARE CENTERS AND ALLIANCE WITH VENCOR, INC.

 HOUSTON, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Living Centers of America, Inc. (NYSE: LCA) announced today the creation of a new company subacute program, Progressive Care Centers of America. "This unique concept in the subacute delivery system is designed to expand revenue sources through strategic alliances and joint ventures to strengthen relationships with managed-care networks," said Living Centers of America Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Edward L. Kuntz. "The program provides high acuity health care services within dedicated units of the company's facilities."
 The first alliance will be with Vencor, Inc. (NYSE: VC), which provides long-term hospital care to medically complex, chronically ill patients, most of whom are dependent upon ventilators or other life- support devices. Vencor will initially establish subacute ventilator units in two Living Centers' Progressive Care Centers on an exclusive basis. In 18 other Living Centers locations, Vencor will be providing respiratory therapy in facilities that are Medicare-certified. Over the next six to 12 months, the company expects to add two additional subacute ventilator units, and will add the respiratory therapy program to 12 other facilities.
 "Meeting the changing needs of our patients requires us to provide a higher acuity level of services. Through Progressive Care Centers, patient care and services are improved through higher staffing levels, intense training, and greater involvement by specialized health care professionals. Vencor is a national leader in respiratory therapy services. Their clinical expertise will enable us to provide a more intensive level of care than has been traditionally provided in the nursing home environment," said Kuntz.
 "To attract patients from managed-care payors, we have created a cost-effective system that meets the needs of patients and will demonstrate positive patient outcomes. These objectives complement those likely to emerge from health care reform initiatives which will encourage high quality care in cost-effective settings," added Kuntz.
 The creation of the Progressive Care Centers concept by Living Centers is in line with the strategic objectives of Vencor's management as well. "This program will help us by creating a 'step-down' in the continuum of care. We will be able to ensure placement of our patients in an appropriate and quality environment when they are ready for discharge from our hospitals, yet still need highly skilled nursing care," explained Vencor Chief Executive Officer and President W. Bruce Lunsford. "This alliance is an opportunity to use Vencor's clinical expertise to expand both organizations' opportunities for cross- referrals and to develop strong relationships within managed-care networks," Lunsford added.
 Through Progressive Care Centers, the company intends to provide intensive skilled-nursing care and the services most needed in the local community, including respiratory therapy, infusion therapy, wound care, enteral therapy, comprehensive medical rehabilitative services, and pharmacy services.
 Living Centers of America, Inc., is the fourth largest provider of long-term health care in the United States. The company operates 242 centers in 10 states: Texas, Colorado, Florida, Oklahoma, Alabama, Louisiana, Nebraska, Wyoming, Arizona and Mississippi. Of the company's 242 centers, 180 provide long-term health care and 62 are devoted to the care of people with mental retardation and developmental disabilities. Headquartered in Houston, the company is a publicly held corporation whose stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The company's facilities are licensed for 21,881 beds and employ more than 17,000 individuals dedicated to providing quality health and human services for the elderly and disabled.
 Vencor owns or leases 26 intensive care hospitals specializing in health care for patients who suffer from catastrophic illness, often requiring lengthy hospital stays.
 -0- 10/19/93
 /CONTACT: Dorothy Wiley of Living Centers of America, 713-578-4650/
 (LCA VC)


CO: Living Centers of America, Inc.; Vencor, Inc. ST: Texas IN: HEA SU: PDT

CK-JS -- NY069 -- 4071 10/19/93 14:33 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 19, 1993
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