As reported by the Vacaville Reporter
For the seventh consecutive year, Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare health plans in California have earned 5 out of 5 stars, the highest overall rating in the state for quality and service for 2018 from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
“Seven consecutive years of receiving this highest rating from CMS is a tribute to Kaiser Permanente’s continued leadership in transforming health care,” said Janet Liang, president, Kaiser Permanente Northern California region. “Our integrated model of combining care and coverage means we are all working toward the same goal – the health and well-being of our members and patients.”
CMS created the Medicare star quality rating system to help people assess Medicare plans based on quality of care and service delivery, so they can make an informed decision when choosing a plan. CMS uses the star ratings system to rank Medicare health plans on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, with 5 stars representing the highest quality. The overall scores are based on care and service quality measures across nine categories, including staying healthy, managing chronic conditions, member satisfaction, customer service and pharmacy services.
Kaiser Permanente Medicare health plans have consistently received high ratings since CMS began awarding them in 2009. In addition to Northern and Southern California, Kaiser Permanente in Colorado, Hawaii, Northwest, and Mid-Atlantic States received 5 out of 5 stars each. Kaiser Permanente in Georgia and Washington earned 4.5 out of 5 stars.
According to CMS, Kaiser Permanente represents five of 15 Medicare health plans (with Parts C and D) that earned 5 out of 5 stars, the highest overall rating. Moreover, of the nearly 2 million beneficiaries enrolled in those 5-star plans nationwide, 72 percent are Kaiser Permanente Medicare members.
“Our physicians and staff are dedicated to delivering a superior level of medical care and service to our patients every day,” said Richard S. Isaacs, MD, Executive Director and CEO, The Permanente Medical Group. “This recognition is a tribute to the exceptional quality of our work, which is having a positive impact on the lives of our patients throughout Northern California.”
In addition to recognition by CMS, Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare health plans in Northern California recently received the highest ratings from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), a national group that rates health plans for consumer experience, prevention and treatment. Kaiser Permanente Northern California was also given the top NCQA rating for its commercial health plan, making it the only organization in the country to achieve the top rating for both its Medicare and commercial plans.
For Medicare beneficiaries, the advantages of a 5-star plan go beyond high-quality care and service — they also include year-long open enrollment. Medicare beneficiaries may change to a 5-star Kaiser Permanente individual Medicare plan through a CMS Special Enrollment Period from Dec. 8, 2017 to Nov. 30, 2018 without having to wait until the next annual enrollment period.
Medicare beneficiaries can learn more about the star ratings and Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare health plans by visiting kp.org/medicarestars.