KAISER: RATED BEST CALIFORNIA HMO BY EMPLOYERS GROUP
Pacific Business Group on Health yesterday rated KaiserThis is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Permanente as California's top health plan in its annual report
card on HMOs in the state, San Francisco Chronicle reports. It
was the first time the group singled out a "blue-ribbon HMO" as
part of the survey process. Patricia Powers, executive director
of PBGH said, "Kaiser came out on top when stacked up against its
competitors. Kaiser represents good value both for purchasers
and consumers of health care." PBGH, a coalition of 33 employers
with more than 2.5 million workers, rated the plans on quality of
care, cost, "how well a plan tracks its medical data, and whether
the plan takes a lead role in improving HMO industry standards."
The survey also tracked customer satisfaction and the quality of
preventive care procedures offered by the health care plan.
Kaiser was chosen despite well-publicized criticism this
year over problems with patient care. Powers said, "We certainly
are aware of (these problems), and discussed (them) at our board
meeting, but we felt it shouldn't deter us from our path of using
objective data. Kaiser has an 85% consumer satisfaction rate,
while a lot of other plans aren't even breaking 80%." Kaiser
did not rank as highly as other plans in some areas of customer
satisfaction, including getting appointments and referrals to
specialists. However, the plan received higher marks in the area
of preventive care, including providing childhood immunizations,
prenatal care, eye exams for diabetics and screening for cervical
and breast cancer. Kaiser's doctors group did not score as
highly as other groups in PBGH's first report card on doctors.
Other HMOs scoring high marks were Aetna Health Plans of
California, Blue Cross/California Care, Lifeguard, PacifiCare of
California, FHP TakeCare1 and CIGNA HealthCare of Northern
More information about the study can be obtained by calling
1-888-244-2124. Information will also be posted on the Web by
the end of the month at www.healthscope.org. (DeBare, 9/17).