Friday, September 20, 2013

Kaiser Permanente's Medicare Plans Are No. 1 Again

Kaiser Permanente Medicare plans hold top five spots in rankings; all Kaiser Permanente Medicare and Private plans are highest-ranked in the markets they serve
 — /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente Medicare plans continue to demonstrate that they are the best in the nation, ranking No. 1 in a published report by the National Committee for Quality Assurance for the third year in a row.
The "NCQA's Health Insurance Plan Rankings 2013–2014" report is published annually and ranks health plans — Medicare, Medicaid and Private (Commercial) — in three categories, including customer experience, prevention and treatment. For the third year in a row, a Kaiser Permanente Medicare health plan is No.1 in the nation: Kaiser Permanente Southern California, which has been the nation's top Medicare plan for two years running. In 2011, Kaiser Permanente Northern California was top-ranked.
In addition, Kaiser Permanente Medicare plans hold the top five spots in the 2013-2014 rankings; Kaiser Permanente Northern California was No. 2, followed by Kaiser Permanente Northwest, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, and Kaiser Permanente Hawaii. These five regions account for 8.2 million of Kaiser Permanente's more than 9.1 million members. All eight Kaiser Permanente Medicare plans were in the top 16, which means all eight Kaiser Permanente plans are in the top 4 percent out of the 405 plans that were ranked.
In the Commercial rankings, Kaiser Permanente has three plans among the top 10 nationally for the second year in a row, including the second-highest ranked plan in the U.S., Kaiser Permanente Northwest. Also in the Top 10 were Kaiser Permanente Northern California (No. 7) and Kaiser Permanente Ohio (No. 10). All eight Kaiser Permanente Commercial plans are among the top 25 plans and therefore among the top 6 percent of the 484 ranked national plans.
All Kaiser Permanente plans ranked highest in both Medicare and Commercial in the regions or states they serve.
Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, for the third year in a row, retained its position as the No. 2-ranked Medicaid plan in the nation.
"We are proud to again have the highest-rated health plans in the markets that we serve," saidJed Weissberg, MD, senior vice president, Hospitals, Quality and Care Delivery Excellence, Kaiser Permanente. "Our consistently excellent performance in the rankings reflects Kaiser Permanente's commitment to helping our members get healthy and stay healthy. We have dedicated physicians and care teams who use best practices and cutting-edge tools to provide coordinated, compassionate care, creating a better, safer patient experience."
Kaiser Permanente's Commercial plans in Colorado and the Mid-Atlantic States and its Medicare plan in Colorado were also honored as "Best Value" plans, a new designation added to the rankings for the first time this year by NCQA. A "Best Value" plan, according to NCQA, is a plan that is "getting higher quality of care" and "avoiding costly care." Many health plans in the nation — including most from Kaiser Permanente — chose not to collect or report the necessary data that would determine whether they were a "Best Value" plan, and therefore were not eligible for that designation.  
Now in its eighth year, the "NCQA's Health Insurance Plan Rankings" is based on combined scores for health plans in Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set®, commonly called HEDIS; the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems®, or CAHPS; and NCQA Accreditation standards scores. Consumers and employers assess plans prior to annual enrollment periods.
In the Medicare category, with 405 plans nationally ranked, Kaiser Permanente had the following rankings:
  • Kaiser Permanente Southern California — 1st
  • Kaiser Permanente Northern California — 2nd
  • Kaiser Permanente Northwest — 3rd
  • Kaiser Permanente Colorado — 4th
  • Kaiser Permanente Hawaii — 5th
  • Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States — 8th
  • Kaiser Permanente Ohio — 11th
  • Kaiser Permanente Georgia – 16th
Kaiser Permanente Hawaii was the only Kaiser Permanente plan eligible for the Medicaid rankings. The Hawaii plan ranked second in the nation out of 131 plans. Other Kaiser Permanente regions are not required to report data on the full set of measures used to calculate Medicaid rankings and were therefore unranked in this category.
Out of 484 nationally ranked Commercial plans, Kaiser Permanente had the following rankings:
  • Kaiser Permanente Northwest — 2nd
  • Kaiser Permanente Northern California — 7th
  • Kaiser Permanente Ohio — 10th
  • Kaiser Permanente Colorado — 13th
  • Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States — 16th
  • Kaiser Permanente Southern California — 17th
  • Kaiser Permanente Georgia — 20th
  • Kaiser Permanente Hawaii — 25th
"Our high ratings recognize Kaiser Permanente's superb physicians and care providers," said Amy Compton-Phillips, MD, associate executive director for Quality at The Permanente Federation, the national umbrella organization of more than 17,000 physicians who provide care to Kaiser Permanente's more than 9.1 million members. "This recognition, however, is not merely about rankings. These scores demonstrate that at Kaiser Permanente improving the health of our members is our calling. We continuously strive to improve and provide better care to the more than 9.1 million Kaiser Permanente members we serve."
The rankings and methodology are posted on the NCQA's website at and on theConsumer Reports website. The rankings and an article about health plans will appear in the November issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

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