Press Releases: Northern California
February 22, 2012
Kaiser Permanente Maintains Exclusive 4-Star Rating on California’s Annual Clinical-Quality Report Card
Kaiser Permanente Northern and Southern California only health plans to receive the highest score from the Office of the Patient Advocate
OAKLAND, Calif. — For the fourth straight year, Kaiser Permanente is the only health plan in California to earn a 4-star rating — the highest possible — for overall quality of care in the Healthcare Quality Report Card from the California Office of the Patient Advocate.
Kaiser Permanente in both Northern and Southern California also received four stars — the highest possible rating — in the “Members Rate Their HMO” category, which measures patient satisfaction with their care and service.
The 2012 report card provides California consumers with side-by-side comparisons of the nine largest health plans in the state, ranking them on national standard-of-care measures that involve treatment of a range of acute and chronic conditions, and preventive care that has long-term implications on personal health.
“Kaiser Permanente is consistently recognized for providing high-quality health care, and is frequently cited as a model for the future of health care,” said Gregory A. Adams, president of Kaiser Permanente Hospitals/Health Plan, Inc., in Northern California. “Our model of care — based on prevention, coordination, integrated electronic medical records and prepayment rather than fee-for-service — creates a strong foundation for delivering high-quality, affordable and accessible health care.”
This year, Kaiser Permanente in Northern California earned four stars in eight of the nine report-card categories for clinical care, including asthma and lung care, checking for cancer, diabetes care, heart care, maternity care and mental health.
The 2012 report card contains several new measures. In the category “Caring for Children,” measures were added to differentiate between care for young children and care for adolescents. In new measures “Immunizations for Early Teens” and “Checking if Adolescents' Weight may be causing Health Problems,” Kaiser Permanente in Northern and Southern California had the top scores in the state.
Likewise in the new adult-care measure “Advising Patients to Quit Smoking,” Kaiser Permanente had higher scores than any other managed-care plan in California.
“To provide superior medical treatment in the 21st century, you need the best physicians, the most advanced technology and excellence across all disciplines: primary care, specialty care, outpatient and inpatient care,” said Robert Pearl, MD, executive director and CEO of The Permanente Medical Group in Northern California. “Based on this report and our No. 1 ranking by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, Kaiser Permanente is the best in California in these areas and in the very top echelon of health care programs in the country. This report demonstrates some of the reasons our patients have a 30 percent lower chance of dying from heart disease and stroke than patients treated in the communities around us.”
The 2012 OPA ratings follow several other recent honors received by Kaiser Permanente:
- Kaiser Permanente Northern California’s Medicare Plan was rated best in the country in the NCQA’s 2011 health plan rankings. In all, seven of Kaiser’s Permanente’s eight regions around the country were ranked in the Top 20 for Medicare Plans.
- Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare plans in California received an overall rating of 5 stars for parts C and D, the highest rating available from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for 2012.
- Ten Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Northern California were named 2011 Leapfrog Top Hospitals, an honor that rewards medical centers for success in such areas as infection rates, safety practices and measures of efficiency. Eight Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Southern California also received the honor. The distinction placed those hospitals in the top 65 in the nation, selected from a field of nearly 1,200 facilities around the country.
- Kaiser Permanente had the top-ranked health plans in California and both regions were ranked in the Top 20 nationally in the 2011 annual rankings of commercial health plans by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Kaiser Permanente Southern California was ranked No. 1 in the state, No. 12 in the nation. Kaiser Permanente Northern California was No. 2 in the state, No. 14 in the nation.
- Ten Kaiser Permanente hospitals in California — seven in Northern California and three in Southern California — were recognized as “Top Performers on Key Quality Measures” for 2010 in The Joint Commission’s “Improving America’s Hospitals” annual report. The “Top Performer” designation recognizes hospitals that “attain and sustain excellence” on benchmarks that measure how well they treat a variety of serious medical conditions.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We serve approximately 8.9 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to www.kp.org/newscenter.