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Kaiser Permanente Receives the Most Stars in California Office of Patient Advocate's Annual Quality Report Card
Date:11/20/2008

OAKLAND, Calif., Nov. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente is the only health plan in California to earn excellent, four-star ratings in the 2009 Edition Healthcare Quality Report Card from the California Office of the Patient Advocate (OPA).

The report card results, announced today by the California OPA, also show Kaiser Permanente Northern California and Southern California receiving the highest scores overall in clinical quality among the nine health plans surveyed.

Kaiser Permanente Northern California earned the highest marks overall in the report's comparison of medical services, earning excellent, four-star ratings in asthma care, diabetes care, checking for cancer, heart care, maternity care, mental health care, and Chlamydia screening.

The annual report, available online at http://www.HealthCareQuality.ca.gov, provides California consumers with side-by-side comparisons of health plans, ranking them on a wide array of standard-of-care measures that have both immediate and long-term implications on personal health.

In the category of heart care, Kaiser Permanente Northern California was one of only two plans in the state to receive four stars for a series of measures that included controlling cholesterol and hypertension and appropriate medications for heart attack. The other four-star plan for heart care was Kaiser Permanente Southern California.

Kaiser Permanente Northern and Southern California also shared top honors in categories that included management of blood sugar levels among diabetics, treatment of asthma with the appropriate medications, and screening for breast cancer.

"This report demonstrates the superior clinical outcomes which patients are able to achieve through Kaiser Permanente," said Robert Pearl, MD, CEO and executive director of The Permanente Medical Group, which serves members in Northern California. "The number of categories in which KP is rated number one is a tribute to the clinical excellence of our physicians, nurses and staff and our advanced electronic medical record system. These outstanding results explain why our members have a 30 percent lower chance of dying from heart disease and why our patients with asthma are able to live a healthier life."

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

This year's Health Care Quality Report Card from the OPA rated nine health plans in California on the quality of care enrollees receive, based on their record of health services provided to members, and in some cases, reviews of members' medical charts. Ratings are also based on what members say about their experiences with the health plans and medical groups.

The OPA ratings follow several other recent honors received by Kaiser Permanente:

-- Earlier this month, Kaiser Permanente received the first "Director's Right Care Initiative Award" from the California Department of Managed Health Care for its work in preventing diabetes and heart disease.

-- Kaiser Permanente also is the clear leader in the 2008 report card released by the California Corporative Healthcare Reporting Initiative, receiving the highest rating or tying for the highest rating in 36 of 40 measures of quality, performance and service.

-- Kaiser Permanente was rated "The Best in California," according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 National Health Insurance Plan Study, which measures member satisfaction in seven key areas, including coverage and benefits; choice of doctors; and customer service. Kaiser Permanente was the only California Health plan to receive five stars in each of the measures.

-- Finally, this year's U.S. News and World Report assessment of health plans ranked Kaiser Permanente of Northern California the top commercial plan in the state, and among the top 50 around the nation.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente, founded in 1945, is a non-profit integrated health care organization, with physicians, nurses and staff working in collaboration to provide high quality care to patients and address the health care needs of communities served by the organization. The Kaiser Permanente Northern California Region serves almost 3.2 million members. It includes 6,400 physicians in The Permanente Medical Group (TPMG) and about 54,000 employees. The region has 20 major medical centers. In 2007, Kaiser Permanente dedicated about $447 million to a variety of community programs and agencies in Northern California. More information about Kaiser Permanente can be found at http://www.kaiserpermanente.org.


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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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