SACRAMENTO: Kaiser Permanente Making a Comeback?
Kaiser Permanente is investing "tens of millions of dollars" in new staff, hospital maintenance and expansion in the Sacramento Valley, a reversal of previous cash-saving tactics. Specifically, instead of shuttering its Sacramento medical center, the HMO will spend as much as $100 million to retrofit the facility and will soon submit for state approval plans for a $24 million expansion of its South Sacramento hospital. "A lot of this is counterintuitive because we lost a lot of money, but the first solution to these losses was to hire more nurses and open more hospitals," said Kaiser spokesperson Beverly Hayon. The Sacramento Business Journal reports that the "renewed investment will come at the expense of higher health insurance rates" -- rates 10% higher for some members. In related news, the HMO also announced that it will start focusing on treating its own patients, instead of contracting with other hospital systems, which has contributed to millions in red ink (Robertson, 3/1 issue).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.