Kaiser Permanente Announces Earnings, Resignation
Kaiser Permanente on Tuesday reported increased earnings, revenue and enrollment and separately confirmed that CIO Cliff Dodd had resigned, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
The announcements come after a Kaiser employee last week sent an e-mail saying that Kaiser could lose as much as $7 billion if it does not take steps to address expense increases and voice concerns about Kaiser's electronic health records system (Rauber/Hogarth, San Francisco Business Times, 11/7).
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and their subsidiaries reported net income of $417 million for the third quarter of 2007, a 37% increase from $305 million in net earnings for the same period a year ago.
Revenue increased by more than 11% to $8.7 billion, and membership increased by 30,000. Nationwide membership currently is about 8.6 million (Morrill, Oakland Tribune, 11/8).
Kaiser attributed the improved performance to reductions in workers' compensation and professional liability costs, not improved operations, the Business Times reports.
Tom Meier, vice president and treasurer for Kaiser, said that the HMO is currently working to develop a "viable plan" to address increasing costs (San Francisco Business Times, 11/7).
Dodd, Kaiser Permanente's CIO and leader of their $3 billion initiative to implement EHRs for all of its members, resigned on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reports (Costello, Los Angeles Times, 11/8).
Bruce Turkstra, vice president and program director for HealthConnect, will replace Dodd on an interim basis, Kaiser Chair and CEO George Halvorson said (San Francisco Business Times, 11/7).
Kaiser's EHR project is expected to be completed by 2009 (Los Angeles Times, 11/8).
Los Angeles project supervisor Justen Deal sent an e-mail to most of Kaiser's employees and established a Web site voicing concerns about Kaiser's potential losses and the EHR project, called HealthConnect (Oakland Tribune, 11/8).
Deal said that data showed the EHR system was failing on such a frequent basis that physicians and patients were unable to access their EHRs for long periods of time (Los Angeles Times, 11/8). Deal said that HealthConnect in June was unavailable for 9,000 user hours and in October was unavailable for 60,000 user hours. He said the number of users for the system doubled in that time period (San Francisco Business Times, 11/7).
A Kaiser spokesperson said Dodd's resignation was not related to Deal's e-mail, the Times reports. The spokesperson also said the allegations in Deal's e-mail were not true, and that the rollout of HealthConnect was better than expected (Los Angeles Times, 11/8).