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In The News

In the news

KP Southern California Receives Excellent Accreditation in NCQA National Report Card

The National Committee for Quality Assurance, which issues report cards to health care organizations based on measurement, transparency and accountability, has awarded Kaiser Permanente Southern California with its highest status of “Excellent Accreditation.”

The 3-year accreditation follows a rigorous and extensive survey of our organization’s Commercial and Medicare operations in the Southern California Region.

“Our medical teams go above and beyond to care for the health and well-being of our 4.6 million Southern California members by delivering high-quality, affordable and compassionate care day in and day out, year after year,” said Julie Miller-Phipps, president, KFHP/H, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, “This is a testament to the dedication and commitment of each and every one at Kaiser Permanente. We know people have choices when it comes to their health care needs, and Kaiser Permanente is proud to have earned the trust of millions of residents across this region who depend on us for their health care needs.”

“Our physicians and care teams have a strong and unrelenting commitment to medical excellence,” said Ed Ellison, MD, executive medical director, Southern California Permanente Medical Group. “The NCQA designation reflects the expertise, dedication and focus of our physicians and health care professionals to delivering excellent, person-centered care each and every day designed around our patients’ medical and health needs.”

NCQA Report Cards examine how well doctors, other clinicians, practices, health insurance plans and other national health care organizations perform. Achieving recognition, accreditation and/or certification means there are processes in place that define the organizations as being “patient-centered.”

Click here to view the full report card.

Kaiser Permanente Extends COVID-19 Cost Waiver Through Dec. 31, 2020

Cost waiver extension eliminates out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 treatment, allowing impacted members to focus on their health and recovery

 

OAKLAND, Calif. – Kaiser Permanente has announced that it will extend its waiver for most member out-of-pocket costs for inpatient and outpatient services related to the treatment of COVID-19 through December 31, 2020. This waiver, put into effect on April 1 and originally set to expire on May 31, is intended to alleviate the cost burden and stress on impacted members of paying for care, allowing them to focus on recovery.

Kaiser Permanente understands the financial impact that COVID-19 has had on our members and the communities we serve and is committed to ensuring they have access to the care they need during this time of crisis," said Greg Adams, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente. “This move aims to alleviate any stress about paying for care, as well as any hesitancy to seek needed care. The path forward through this pandemic must include identifying, treating and tracing as many cases of COVID-19 as possible as we work to suppress this virus.”

Kaiser Permanente's elimination of member out-of-pocket costs applies to all fully insured benefit plans, in all markets, unless prohibited or modified by law or regulation. It will apply for all dates of service from April 1 through December 31, 2020, unless superseded by government action or extended by Kaiser Permanente. This waiver does not automatically apply to self-funded customers who directly administer health benefits to their employees. Kaiser Permanente has encouraged self-funded customers to adopt this change.

Kaiser Permanente suspended all terminations for non-payment of premium or out of pocket expenses from March 15 through May 31. In May, Kaiser Permanente further extended terminations for non-payment through June 30 for KP Individuals and Family and small group members.

This waiver does not automatically apply to self-funded customers who directly administer health benefits to their employees, and non-urgent or emergent out-of-network claims for tiered benefit product customers.

Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente Zion Medical Center Nationally Recognized with an ‘A’ for the Spring 2020 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade

SAN DIEGO, CA, April 30, 2020 –Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente Zion Medical Center were awarded an ‘A’ in the spring 2020 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, a national distinction recognizing our Medical Centers’ achievements providing safer health care. The Leapfrog Group is an independent national watchdog organization committed to health care quality and safety. The Safety Grade is a letter grade assigned to all general hospitals across the country and updated every six months, assessing how well the hospital prevents medical errors and other harms to patients.

“This continued recognition shows that our hospital team members, including all physicians and staff, are meeting the highest standards for hospital safety and quality measures,” said Jane Finley, Senior Vice President and Area Manager for Kaiser Permanente in San Diego. “Kaiser Permanente is committed to improving the health of our members and our integrated, coordinated health care model puts the patient at the center of all we do.”

“As the Nation copes with a challenging pandemic, our gratitude extends to hospital leadership and health care workers everywhere for their tremendous dedication,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We hope this ‘A’ helps to thank the people who work and volunteer for Kaiser Permanente San Diego and Zion Medical Centers. They are role models in putting patients first, and their service has been extraordinary in our country’s time of need.”

Developed under the guidance of a national Expert Panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses up to 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign grades to more than 2,600 U.S. acute-care hospitals twice per year. The Hospital Safety Grade’s methodology is peer-reviewed and fully transparent, and the results are free to the public.

Kaiser Permanente San Diego and Zion Medical Centers were awarded an ‘A’ grade today, when Leapfrog updated grades for spring 2020. To see full grade details and access patient tips for staying safe in the hospital, visit hospitalsafetygrade.org and follow The Leapfrog Group on Twitter and Facebook.

About The Leapfrog Group
Founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey and new Leapfrog Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) Survey collect and transparently report hospital and ASC performance, empowering purchasers to find the highest-value care and giving consumers the lifesaving information they need to make informed decisions. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, Leapfrog’s other main initiative, assigns letter grades to hospitals based on their record of patient safety, helping consumers protect themselves and their families from errors, injuries, accidents and infections.

Supporting public health response to COVID-19

OAKLAND, Calif. – Kaiser Permanente is contributing $1 million to 10 leading public health organizations and collaborating with CDC Foundation to strengthen the United States’ public health infrastructure and response systems to stop the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The organizations that will receive this funding include: American Public Health AssociationAssociation of State and Territorial Health OfficialsBig Cities Health CoalitionCouncil of State and Territorial EpidemiologistsCounty Health Executives Association of CaliforniaHealth Officers Association of CaliforniaNational Association of County and City Health OfficialsNational Health Law Programthe Network for Public Health LawPublic Health Institute; and Trust for America’s Health.

These organizations work closely with state and local health officers and play an important role to support them in responding to public health threats. This contribution will help them focus on rapidly sharing emerging evidence and data, aligning on effective protocols and policies, and cascading accurate information as it becomes available — as well as quickly debunking misinformation.

“Public-private collaboration and intergovernmental coordination are critically important in creating effective outbreak response,” said Bechara Choucair, MD, chief health officer at Kaiser Permanente. “These groups have immense breadth and depth of experience addressing public health issues and can ensure alignment with the health care ecosystem.”

“Government support is essential in combatting health threats, such as COVID-19,” said Judy Monroe, president and chief executive officer of the CDC Foundation. “But philanthropic and private sector donations, such as this generous gift from Kaiser Permanente, can be used alongside government funds to extend response efforts and meet rapidly emerging needs, including those with organizations supporting state, local, county, and territorial health officials.”

The CDC Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress to help extend the lifesaving work of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC Foundation activated its Emergency Response Fund for the COVID-19 response in late January.

A key part of Kaiser Permanente’s mission as the nation’s largest nonprofit, integrated health system is to improve the health of its 12.2 million members as well as that of the 68 million people who live in the communities it serves.

“As a leading health care provider with a deep commitment to community health, Kaiser Permanente is proud to support these organizations to safeguard health and mitigate the impact of the virus in our communities,” said Cynthia Telles, PhD, Community Health Committee chair for the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals Boards of Directors.

Kaiser Permanente and Enterprise Community Loan Fund Collaborate to Invest $4.3 Million to Create and Preserve Affordable Housing in San Diego and Los Angeles

To help tackle the homeless epidemic, a loan from Kaiser Permanente to Enterprise Community Loan Fund has recently resulted in two impact investments totaling $4.3 million in San Diego and Los Angeles to provide more affordable, secure homes for those most in need of shelter.

With 4.6 million members across Southern California, nonprofit Kaiser Permanente seeks to improve the health of the communities it serves by both providing high-quality, integrated health care services and enhancing the economic and social conditions in communities that impact people’s health.

In San Diego, $3.2 million will be invested to preserve 22 units of affordable housing at the 43rd Street Apartments in the City Heights area currently housing low- and moderate-income families. The developer, Housing Innovation Partners, plans to keep the rents for this housing stable for residents.

“Stable, affordable housing is essential to a person’s health,” said John Yamamoto, vice president of Community Health and Government Relations at Kaiser Permanente Southern California. “Yet, many of the communities we serve are grappling with high rates of housing insecurity and homelessness. These efforts are designed to help change that.”

Jon Walters, associate director of Housing Innovation Partners, emphasized how the loss of affordable, multifamily housing is impacting a growing number of families in the San Diego region, and how that is contributing to increased homelessness in the community.

“When we first met with the residents of the property, their main concern was that the purchase of the site would result in a dramatic increase in rent or a loss of their housing,” Walters said. “We were happy to inform them not only have we been able to preserve the site as affordable housing, but have the goal of reducing their tenant portion of rent over time.”

The San Diego and Los Angeles developments are the first impact investments in Southern California from the recently created $100 million RxHome Fund. This fund is comprised of a $50 million loan from Kaiser Permanente to Enterprise Community Loan Fund, plus an additional $50 million in capital from ECLF. The goal of the RxHome Fund is to create and to preserve 3,250 healthy and affordable homes over the next decade in Kaiser Permanente’s service areas nationwide.

The RxHome Fund is part of Kaiser Permanente’s $200 million Thriving Communities Fund addressing housing stability, homelessness and other community needs. The Thriving Communities Fund is designed to make investments to improve the conditions for health in the communities served by Kaiser Permanente, where 12.3 million members and 68 million people reside. Impact investing is an innovative strategy to produce measurable social benefit impacting people’s lives, with sufficient financial returns to replenish funds for continued investment.

Lori Chatman, president of Enterprise Community Loan Fund, said this $4.3 million investment of private capital is to support well-designed homes that are affordable and connected to health care, good jobs, schools and transit. “As a social impact investor, Kaiser Permanente is investing to create better health outcomes for residents while earning a financial return,” she explained. “We hope that Kaiser Permanente’s investment will inspire even more socially minded investors to recognize the connection between positive health outcomes and a stable home.”

In Los Angeles, $1.1 million will be invested in a Los Angeles Family Housing development in the North Hills area of the San Fernando Valley. The Angel Apartments project will transform 22,260 square feet of underutilized commercial space into 53 units of permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless residents, as well as chronically homeless veterans. The development will feature four residental floors and on-site support services that include intervention, education and employment assistance, substance abuse and health treatment, after-school academic support and community activities.