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Press Releases: Ohio

May 29, 2013

Catholic Health Partners and Kaiser Permanente Ohio Announce Initial Agreement in Northeast Ohio

CINCINNATI, CLEVELAND — Catholic Health Partners, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Ohio and Ohio Permanente Medical Group, Inc. announced today that they have reached initial agreements for CHP to acquire Kaiser Permanente Ohio’s existing health plan and continue medical group practice and care delivery operations in Northeast Ohio.

Catholic Health PartnersKaiser Permanente

The resulting CHP-owned, integrated health care organization would continue to provide health care for more than 80,000 current Kaiser Permanente Ohio members. Upon finalizing the agreements, the newly named organization would comprise the health care staff, physicians and operations and administrative personnel who are currently part of OPMG and KFHPO, and would continue to operate the existing medical offices in Northeast Ohio.

CHP is the largest health system in Ohio and one of the largest in the nation, with 24 hospitals and more than 250 locations throughout Ohio and neighboring states. The organization is well-positioned to provide high-quality, affordable care and maintain the continuity of care for Kaiser Permanente Ohio members and patients.

“CHP is committed to delivering high-quality, compassionate care that improves the daily lives of those we serve,” said Michael D. Connelly, president and chief executive officer of Catholic Health Partners. “This opportunity interests us because it preserves a values-based, patient-centered care model that we can expand throughout the region. Additionally, it enables us to focus on enhancing quality, improving access to health care and effectively managing costs.”

One of the overarching goals of this agreement is to ensure that current health plan members continue to receive the same high-quality care and service that they already experience. CHP will work with OPMG physicians and other practitioners to create a new health care provider organization through which they would continue to provide health care services to Kaiser Permanente’s current Ohio members. CHP is committed to providing customers, members with individual and family coverage and Medicare patients with preventive and comprehensive care that has been a hallmark of Kaiser Permanente Ohio and OPMG since their inception.

“I'm proud of what our leading medical group has accomplished. Our doctors provide the highest quality and service to our members and patients,” said Nabil Chehade, MD, president and executive medical director, Ohio Permanente Medical Group, Inc. “We value our patient relationships in Northeast Ohio, and we intend to continue to provide members and patients with high-quality, comprehensive care. The new relationship we envision with CHP would also allow us to serve a broader community and to spread our approach of providing patient-centered, team-based care."

Several significant steps, including regulatory approval, remain to be completed before this agreement is finalized, with most of those steps expected to occur over the coming months. While that work is underway, CHP, KFHPO and OPMG plan to work closely with members, patients, physicians, employees, regulators, customers, brokers and consultants to ensure a successful transition.

Kaiser Permanente Ohio is choosing to pursue transition of its health plan and health care operations to CHP after careful consideration of patient needs and the state’s changing health care environment. In the Northeast Ohio market, Kaiser Permanente Ohio has determined the best course of action for its members, customers, physicians and employees is this proposed agreement with CHP,  a well-resourced, statewide health care organization that shares its commitment to delivering high-quality, affordable health care while supporting its local communities through a range of community benefit efforts.

“Catholic Health Partners’ mission is closely aligned with ours, as they, too, are dedicated to delivering high-quality, affordable care for their patients while providing tangible benefits to the communities they serve,” said Patricia D. Kennedy-Scott, regional president, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Ohio. “As a statewide organization, CHP possesses unique advantages, including the presence in Ohio, scale and a track record of quality and cost-effectiveness needed to perpetuate our legacy and care for our members. I am impressed with CHP’s commitment and ability to work closely with our physicians and staff in order to serve the care needs of members and patients in Northeast Ohio.”

About Catholic Health Partners
Catholic Health Partners (CHP) is the largest health system in Ohio and one of the largest health systems in the United States, employing more than 33,000 associates in Ohio and Kentucky. With $5.6 billion in assets, CHP operates more than 250 health facilities, including 24 hospitals, 15 senior living communities, five hospice programs, eight home health agencies, and a health insurance plan. Its hospitals operate as Mercy, Mercy Health, Mercy Health Partners, Humility of Mary Health Partners, Community Mercy Health Partners and St. Rita's Health Partners. In keeping with its mission, CHP provided $385.4 million in community benefit services in 2012. CHP's bonds are rated AA- by Standard & Poor's and Fitch, and A1 by Moody's. In four of the last six years, Truven (formerly Thomson Reuters) rated CHP among the nation's top health systems for clinical quality and efficiency.

About Ohio Permanente Medical Group, Inc.
The Ohio Permanente Medical Group (OPMG) is one of the largest multi-specialty groups in Northeast Ohio. Over 200 physicians and allied health professionals provide care exclusively to Kaiser Permanente Ohio members. Ninety-three percent of the groups’ physicians have achieved the highest professional designation in their specialties (board certification), compared to the national average of 80 percent.

About Kaiser Permanente Ohio
Kaiser Permanente Ohio is committed to helping shape the future of health care. Kaiser Permanente Ohio employs nearly 1,600 people and holds an "Excellent" accreditation rating by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and has been ranked best in state for its HMO and Medicare products. Kaiser Permanente Ohio is one of the highest-rated health plans in the nation for Medicare (No. 16) and for Private/Commercial coverage (No. 38). Kaiser Permanente Ohio has been rated an excellent 5 out of 5 stars overall — the highest-rated Medicare Health Plan in Ohio for 2013 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Kaiser Permanente Ohio members and patients receive care from Ohio Permanente Medical Group physicians through an exclusive agreement with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Ohio. For more information, go to: kp.org/newscenter or Twitter@OhioKP