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Kaiser Permanente Honored for Success in Diabetes and Heart Disease Prevention

California Department of Managed Health Care recognizes health care

organization with first-ever Director's Right Care Award

OAKLAND, Calif., Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The California Department of Managed Health Care has honored Kaiser Permanente with the "Director's Right Care Initiative Award" for its outstanding work in diabetes and heart disease prevention. This is the inaugural presentation of the award and is part of the DMHC's "Right Care Initiative," which examines managed care and the quality of service provided to California's citizens.

"We are honored that the DMHC has recognized the quality initiatives we have in place to ensure optimal health for our members," said Jeffrey Weisz, MD, executive medical director of the Southern California Permanente Medical Group. "Kaiser Permanente's focus has always been on keeping patients healthy and getting them well when they are not, and this award further underscores that ongoing commitment."

The award is based on measurements from the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set, a standard used by more than 90 percent of America's health plans to measure performance on important dimensions of care and service. Kaiser Permanente was selected for this award based on its scores that ranked it at or near the 90th percentile for critical HEDIS life-saving control measures.

"This award reflects our remarkable accomplishments at Kaiser Permanente, and explains why our patients have a 30 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared to the non-Kaiser population of Northern California," said Robert Pearl, MD, executive director and CEO of The Permanente Medical Group, whose 7,000 physicians provide health care to Kaiser Permanente's 3.3 million members in Northern California.

Kaiser Permanente Northern California was recognized for critical HEDIS life-saving control measures in controlling high blood pressure, screening and controlling high cholesterol for heart and diabetes patients, controlling high blood sugar, medical attention for problems related to kidney disease, and persistence of beta-blocker treatment after heart attack. Kaiser Permanente Southern California was recognized for medical attention for problems related to kidney disease, diabetic eye exams, controlling high blood pressure and screening and controlling high cholesterol for heart patients. Kaiser Permanente serves more than 6.4 million members in California.

Among the various factors that contribute to the overall care experience, Kaiser Permanente physicians have the added support and tools provided by the organization's robust electronic health record, KP HealthConnect(TM). Kaiser Permanente's significant investment in health information technology allows providers to better manage their patients through panel support tools, which give the physician a comprehensive view of his or her patient panel. With the ability to see all relevant medical information in one place at every point of care, in addition to real-time reminders for overdue labs and exams, Kaiser Permanente physicians have everything they need to provide the utmost quality of care to members.

"We appreciate the recognition from the DMHC, which is a tribute to Kaiser Permanente's physicians, nurses and staff members for the quality care they provide to our patients," said Gregory A. Adams, president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan/Hospitals, Inc., in Northern California. "We're particularly proud of the fact that these programs are having such a positive, life-changing impact for so many of our members. Kaiser Permanente is recognized as a health care leader in prevention and quality care, and these successful efforts further demonstrate our ongoing commitment to enhancing the health and well-being of our patients and the communities we serve."

"This award recognizes skill and creativity of our physicians who provide the 'right care' to our patients each day. They have harnessed the power of our electronic health record (KP HealthConnect(TM)) to enable our patients with diabetes and heart disease to live healthier lives. In reality, the real winners are those patients," said Benjamin K. Chu, MD, president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan/Hospitals, Inc., in Southern California.

The California Department of Managed Health Care oversees health plans in California that provide health insurance to 21 million enrollees. The "Director's Right Care Initiative Award" is a part of the DMHC's larger, three-year Right Care Initiative, which examines managed care and the quality of service to patients in California. This initiative focuses on three key areas -- heart disease, diabetes and hospital-acquired infections -- where there is clear science for improving patient care while constraining costs through prevention of catastrophic patient events.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is America's leading integrated health plan. Founded in 1945, the program is headquartered in Oakland, Calif. Kaiser Permanente serves 8.7 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Today it encompasses Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and their subsidiaries, and the Permanente Medical Groups. Nationwide, Kaiser Permanente includes approximately 164,000 technical, administrative and clerical employees and caregivers, and 14,000 physicians representing all specialties. The organization's Labor Management Partnership is the largest such health care partnership in the United States. It governs how more than 130,000 workers, managers, physicians and dentists work together to make Kaiser Permanente the best place to receive care, and the best place to work. For more Kaiser Permanente news, visit the Kaiser Permanente News Center at:

SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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