KAISER PERMANENTE: HMO, Medical Group Win PBGH ‘Blue Ribbon’
The Pacific Business Group on Health yesterday awarded Kaiser Permanente's HMO, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, the "blue ribbon" in its 2001 annual consumer survey, the Orange County Register reports. PBGH, a not- for-profit consortium of 45 public- and private-sector health insurance buyers, surveyed 20 California HMOs on criteria including quality of health care and service, medical outcomes, relative cost and use of electronic health care information systems. Kaiser's medical groups in Northern and Southern California also won top billing. The recognition will likely give Kaiser a boost, as PBGH President and CEO Peter Lee said the group will encourage its employer members to offer Kaiser's HMO to their employees, and will recommend affiliated health plans to contract with the medical groups earning the blue ribbon (Wolfson, 9/4). Kaiser Permanente California Division President Dick Pettingill said, "Needless to say, we're thrilled to receive this tribute to the work of our employees and physicians. Kaiser Permanente is the only organization that could have accomplished [winning in both the HMO and medical group categories] because our health care providers and health plan work within a single system in close partnership." Southern California Permanente Medical Group Medical Director and Board Chair Dr. Oliver Goldsmith added, "We have been a leader in many ways, including building highly integrated systems that bring the resources of the organization to bear on the health care problems that face us and our communities. Because of the partnership between our medical groups and our health plan we are able to have maximum positive impact on the health of our patients" (Kaiser Permanente release, 9/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.