Kaiser Permanente Offered as Health Care Reform Model on the NBC Nightly News
With the debate about health care reform gaining momentum, the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams reported that there is a model for that reform already working and serving millions of patients.
That model, NBC chief science correspondent Robert Bazell reported March 4, is Kaiser Permanente.
Bazell said, “Many experts agree that whatever happens in the health reform debate, a good model is Kaiser Permanente.”
The report features on-camera interviews with John Cochran, MD, executive director of The Permanente Federation, and Saadia Griffith-Howard, MD, an infectious disease specialist in Kaiser Permanente’s Mid-Atlantic States region. Dr. Cochran discussed why Kaiser Permanente’s model is attractive to millions of members. “Patients aren’t waiting for a perfect health care financing plan. Their needs are pretty simple,” Dr. Cochran said. “They want affordable access to safe care.”
Dr. Howard describes how Kaiser Permanente’s care model allows her to focus on delivering care, rather than billing and business costs. “I’m able to take care of patients in the way I feel is most appropriate,” she said.
The report also discussed how Kaiser Permanente’s “extensive electronic medical records” help clinicians improve care and contain costs. KP HealthConnect™ is the world’s largest civilian electronic health record. All of Kaiser Permanente’s 14,000 physicians have electronic access to their patients’ medical records at 430 Kaiser Permanente medical office buildings, and 24 Kaiser Permanente medical centers.
As Brian Williams started the segment, “There’s a place where policymakers could look for some tips on how an affordable, well-run system operates. It’s already running in the U.S.”