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In the news

Kaiser Permanente Welcomes Baby Boy at 2:22 p.m. on 2/2/22

February 2, 2022 – A 31-year-old Carlsbad woman gave birth to an infant boy at 2:22 PM at the Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center, making for a very unique birth date and time of 2:22 on 2/2/22.

The parents are Natalie and Angel Hernandez. Their new son is Ramon who weighed 8 pounds, 3 ounces and is 19 inches long. Ramon is the first child of Natalie and Angel and the 22nd Great Grandchild of Natalie’s Grandmother Josephine.

Kaiser Permanente Southern California Garners 5-Star Rating

Jan 4, 2022 — Kaiser Permanente Southern California (KPSC) achieved the highest possible rating — 5 stars — for “overall quality of medical care” in the annual Health Care Quality Report Card from California’s Office of the Patient Advocate (OPA), released in late December 2021.

“What wonderful recognition to close 2021 and launch us into an even brighter new year! We want to express our deepest gratitude to our dedicated physicians, clinicians, nurses, and staff. The acknowledgment of excellence from OPA is a reflection of your unwavering commitment to delivering safe, high-quality, and compassionate care designed around our patients’ and members’ total health care needs,” was shared in a joint statement by Nancy Gin, MD, medical director of quality and clinical analysis for Southern California Permanente Medical Group (SCPMG); Patti Harvey, RN, senior vice president of quality, regulatory, and clinical operations support, for KPSC, Health Plan Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals; and Giselle Willick, PharmD, chief quality officer of quality and systems of care for SCPMG.

This Report Card shows the quality of health care for millions of Californians who get their care through Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs).

The 5-star rating — highest possible — for “overall quality of medical care” in the annual Health Care Quality Report Card makes KPSC the only commercial health plan in the state to receive this outstanding result.

KPSC is the only health plan to receive OPA’s top rating for “quality of medical care” for 14 consecutive years.

Additionally, KPSC joined Kaiser Permanente Northern California health plans as the only two HMOs in the state to achieve 5-stars for overall clinical effectiveness in 2 subcategories, including behavioral and mental health care and asthma and lung disease care (pulmonology).

U.S. News & World Report Names Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center a High Performing Hospital for the Best Hospitals for Maternity Care

December 7, 2021 – Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center has been recognized as High Performing in Maternity Care (Uncomplicated Pregnancy) by U.S. News & World Report. This is the first time U.S. News has published a list of Best Hospitals for Maternity.

To be recognized among the Best Hospitals for Maternity, hospitals had to excel on multiple quality metrics that matter to expectant families, including complication rates, C-sections, whether births were scheduled too early in pregnancy, and how successfully each hospital supported breastfeeding. Only one-third of the hospitals evaluated by U.S. News for maternity care earned a ‘High Performing’ rating.

“All families deserve to be informed on how hospitals perform on key indicators of quality, which is why U.S. News has compiled and published a trove of maternal health data from hospitals across the country,” said Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of health analysis at U.S. News & World Report. “The hospitals we’ve recognized as High Performing meet a high standard in caring for patients with uncomplicated pregnancies.”
The Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center earned a “High Performing” rating in Best Hospitals for Maternity. “High Performing” is the highest rating U.S. News awards for that type of care.

Unique to the U.S. News site, participating hospital profiles are a one-stop shop and include a variety of relevant offerings for parents-to-be including key measures of safety, alongside services and amenities, like private rooms, valet parking, and availability of child birthing classes.

The evaluation looks at hospital data relating to only uncomplicated pregnancies, not high-risk pregnancies. Participating hospitals responded to a survey from the U.S. News health analysis team in the spring of 2021 which reflects data from 2019. Participation was voluntary. We anticipate updating Best Hospitals for Maternity in the summer of 2022, to coincide with the release of the 2022-23 Best Hospitals for Procedures & Conditions ratings.

Kaiser Permanente Medicare Health Plan Receives Highest Quality Rating For Excellence and Care Delivery

SAN DIEGO, Calif.Oct. 19, 2021 — A federal agency has given Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare health plan its highest possible rating for 2022 – 5 Stars – for providing expert medicine, seamless care and outstanding service to Medicare health plan members, including those in California.

 

This is the 11th consecutive year all of Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare health plans in the country have been rated 4.5 Stars or higher by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. It is the first time the health care organization with 1.8 million Medicare members nationwide earned 5-star ratings for all of its Medicare health plans since 2014.

 

“This is a testament to our standing as one of the finest health care organizations in the country and represents the excellent care provided by our highly skilled physicians, nurses, clinicians and front-line staff in Southern California and across the nation,” noted Dr. Nancy Gin, regional medical director of Quality and Clinical Analysis at Kaiser Permanente Southern California.

 

“We are committed to providing high-quality care for our Medicare health plan members and helping them live full, active lives,” added Dr. Gin, who also serves as the executive vice president and chief quality officer for The Permanente Federation, the national umbrella organization for the more than 23,000 physicians who provide care to Kaiser Permanente’s members nationwide.

 

The Star Rating system is designed to allow Medicare-eligible individuals to compare Medicare health plans based on quality and performance. In its report, CMS rated all Medicare Advantage health plans (Parts C and D) on multiple facets of care and service, including chronic conditions management, health maintenance, patient experience, customer service and pharmacy services.

 

This Flu Season, Getting Vaccinated is More Important Than Ever

SAN DIEGO, Calif., Sept. 8, 2021 — Getting your flu shot this year will be more important than ever, health experts advise, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Every year, physicians recommend getting vaccinated as a way to protect yourself against contracting or spreading influenza. But this year our health crisis has made this single act of preventative care especially critical at protecting yourself from a disease that plagues millions.

 

“The flu virus will weaken your immune system, making you more vulnerable to catching other respiratory infections, including COVID-19, and that’s why getting vaccinated this year is so important,” said Dr. Margaret Khoury, an infectious disease specialist who is Kaiser Permanente Southern California’s COVID-19 and influenza vaccination program physician lead.

 

She noted having the flu and COVID-19 at the same time would be devastating to your health. “The influenza vaccine remains the most effective prevention against contracting the flu and its complications,” Dr. Khoury explained.

 

In most years, millions of people get the flu, and hundreds of thousands of individuals end up in the emergency room or hospitalized with severe complications, said Dr. Michael Lalich, medical director and chief of staff for Kaiser Permanente San Diego.

 

“We’re preparing for a worse influenza season this year,” he noted. “Last year, we didn’t see many flu cases, possibly due to the precautions we all took and because the coronavirus crowded out the flu.”

 

Dr. Lalich said getting the flu vaccine is very important, but especially for the most sensitive populations. They include the elderly, pregnant women, children younger than five years of age, along with those with chronic health conditions, he explained.

 

When it comes to children who never received the flu vaccine before, those under age 8 will need to receive two flu shots, with a booster vaccine given 28 days after the first inoculation. Parents are strongly encouraged to vaccinate their children this year, as many children have resumed in-person learning at their schools, and will be more susceptible to being infected with the flu virus as they interact with other students and teachers.

 

“A common misconception is that a flu shot will give you the flu,” Dr. Lalich noted. “That’s simply not true. You cannot contract the flu from getting a flu shot. Side effects, when they do occur, are typically very mild. However, by not getting vaccinated, you put yourself and your loved ones at a greater risk of getting the flu, which causes serious illness, hospitalizations and thousands of deaths each year.”

 

Kaiser Permanente members are encouraged to visit kp.org/flu or call the flu hotline number at 1-866-706-6358 for information on how to safely get your free flu vaccine at Kaiser Permanente facilities across San Diego County.