Friday, September 29, 2006

California Health Plan Report Card - Kaiser Permanente Receives the Most Stars for Sixth Time

The Kaiser Permanente Northern California Region serves almost 3.3 million members. It includes 6,000 physicians in The Permanente Medical Group (TPMG) and about 54,000 employees. The region has 19 major medical centers. Each year, Kaiser Permanente donates about $300 million to a variety of community programs and agencies in Northern California.

Kaiser Permanente Northern California once again earned high marks on the 2006 report card released from the California Office of the Patient Advocate – scoring more four-star excellent ratings than any other surveyed plan. The Healthcare Quality Report Card, released today by officials with the state Office of the Patient Advocate (OPA), is the latest in a series of reports and surveys that demonstrate Kaiser Permanente’s quality leadership in Northern California.

"We are very proud of these results,” said Robert Pearl, MD, executive director and CEO of The Permanente Medical Group, which cares for members in Northern California.

“Our performance reflects the outstanding quality care we provide to our patients and the communities we serve. These high marks are a tribute to the clinical excellence of our physicians, nurses and staff." For the sixth year in a row, Kaiser Permanente received the most stars in the Healthcare Quality Report Card.

In addition, Kaiser Permanente’s Southern California Region and Northern California Region were the only two health plans this year to earn six stars of a possible eight in each of the two overall ratings: providing quality care and members rate HMO. Kaiser Permanente Northern California earned excellent ratings in clinical quality measures including asthma care, heart care, and screening for sexually transmitted infections.

Kaiser Permanente Northern California also received top scores on several measures of patient satisfaction including how members rate their HMO, getting appointments and care easily and getting information from a doctor about ways to quit smoking.

On a patient satisfaction measure about member complaints, 92 percent of enrollees reported they did not have a complaint that would lead them to call or write their HMO.

In the area of clinical quality, Kaiser Permanente Northern California rated or tied for first, in ten of 28 clinical measures including meeting national standards for asthma care for adults, teenagers and children; child immunizations; treating children with throat infections and upper respiratory infections; testing and controlling cholesterol for diabetes patients; visits during pregnancy and seeing that patients continue to receive beta blocker drugs following a heart attack. This year’s Healthcare Quality Report Card rates 9 on the quality of care enrollees receive, based on their record of health services provided to members, and in some cases, reviews of members’ medical charts.

Ratings are also based on what members say about their experiences with their health plans and medical groups.

Kaiser Permanente, founded in 1945, is a non-profit integrated health care organization, with physicians, nurses and staff working in collaboration to provide high quality care to patients and address the health care needs of communities served by the organization.