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Press Releases: Northern California

October 12, 2012

Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare Plans in California get Top Ratings in the Nation for the Second Straight Year

Only one health plan in California merits the maximum 5-star rating by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for excellence in care and service

OAKLAND, Calif. —Kaiser Permanente announced today that its Medicare plans in California again have received an overall rating of 5 stars for parts C and D, the highest rating possible from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Medicare Star Quality Rating
Five stars

Through the Medicare Star Quality Rating System, CMS assigns scores of 1 to 5 stars to Medicare plans based on up to 55 quality and service measures.

This is the second year that CMS has awarded such ratings to Medicare plans around the country, and the second year that Kaiser Permanente has the only 5-star rating in California. The new 2013 ratings for the state encompass Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California and Southern California regions.

“Kaiser Permanente is a model for health care in this country and this Medicare 5-star rating confirms the value we provide to patients," said Robert Pearl, MD, executive director and CEO of The Permanente Medical Group. “The combination of superb physicians and the most advanced information technology systems leads to excellence in quality and service. By providing coordinated medical care and greater ease of access, we are able to achieve outstanding outcomes both in prevention of disease and management of the most complex medical conditions. I applaud the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for helping shift the focus of our country from rewarding volume to recognizing superior outcomes. If the whole nation could match this 5-star performance, thousands of lives could be saved each year."

The 2013 star ratings for Medicare health plans are available on the Medicare “Plan Finder” on the www.medicare.gov website. Plans that earn 5 stars are designated with a special “High Performing” icon for easy identification.

“Kaiser Permanente is a member-focused organization, and our staff and physicians in California – working together and enabled by our electronic medical record and integrated delivery system – make it their mission to provide high-quality care and service to all of our members, including our Medicare members,” said Kaiser Permanente Northern California Regional President Gregory Adams. “We are proud and gratified to receive the CMS’s top possible rating for the second straight year, and we are working hard to continually improve and better serve our membership.”   

Star ratings provide Medicare beneficiaries with information to help them assess health plan quality of care and service delivery to make an informed choice when selecting a Medicare plan. Plan performance summary star ratings are assessed each year and may change from one year to the next. 

In addition to receiving high quality service and satisfaction, 5-star excellence means that Medicare beneficiaries may enroll in a 5-star plan from Dec. 8, 2012 to Nov. 30, 2013 without having to wait until the next annual enrollment period.

The 2013 Star ratings are consistent with the recently released National Committee for Quality Assurance assessment of the nation's health plans, in which Kaiser Permanente's Medicare plans in Southern California and Northern California ranked No. 1 and 3 in the U.S., respectively.

Medicare beneficiaries can learn more about the Medicare Star Quality Ratings and Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare plans by visiting www.kp.org/medicarestars or www.Medicare.Gov, or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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 currently serve more than 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.