Kaiser Permanente Reorganizes Northern California Service Areas
Kaiser Permanente on May 1 will reapportion its six Northern California service areas into 12 as part of a "major" restructuring effort intended to improve the HMO's responsiveness to local concerns, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports. Under the plan, Marin and Sonoma counties, which previously were included in the Golden Gate Service Area with San Francisco and South San Francisco, will be separated into their own service area, including Kaiser hospitals in Santa Rosa and San Rafael. The new service area will treat about 217,000 Kaiser members (Norberg, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 4/14). Kaiser will "further localize" administrators by assigning one manager to each of the 12 re-divided service areas, the Fresno Bee reports. Under the new structure, managers will work at medical centers rather than manage large geographical regions from distant locations. Corwin Harper, who will manage the Fresno service area, said, "We believe if we are going to be a high performer, we need to have smaller areas for our CEOs to manage." Kaiser officials said that the realignment will provide a "more adaptable format" and that members should expect "faster and better decisions at the medical center level," according to the Bee. Approximately 200 workers may be reassigned or divided among the new service areas. Harper said the company does not intend to eliminate any jobs under the reorganization plan (Correa, Fresno Bee, 4/14).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.