News & Views

Press Release

Coping with higher health care costs

November 8, 2002

  REGIONS: Colorado 



Denver, Colo. – Your Kaiser Permanente providers know that the financial burden of health care has increased for many of our patients. We believe it is important that you talk with your physician regarding any barriers to following your treatment plan. We would like to suggest some ways for you to stretch your resources:

Plan ahead
Look at your Kaiser Permanente ID card to see what your copays are in case you’re hospitalized or need after-hours care. Detailed information about copays is available in your annual Evidence of Coverage or Summary of Benefits brochure.

Re-examine your medications
In many cases, you can save money by using a generic drug that is every bit as effective as the brand-name drug. Call 303-338-4545 to talk to a pharmacist who can help you research the possibilities.

Use free services for routine questions
Your Healthwise Handbook is full of advice and information about common ailments. It includes preventive tips to help keep you well and out of the doctor’s office. More information is available on our Members Only Web site. You will find huge medical and pharmacy encyclopedias and discussion areas moderated by Kaiser Permanente health care professionals. You can e-mail routine questions to a nurse or pharmacist and get a response within 24 hours on weekdays.

Examine your bills
Bills received from a hospital, ambulance company or provider outside of Kaiser Permanente should be examined closely. If you have questions about these types of bills, please call the Kaiser Permanente claims department at 303-338-3600. You may also call the agency that sent the bill if you believe you’ve been overcharged. If you cannot pay the bill in full, ask if they will discount the charge (some agencies do this), or if they accept payments (most do).

Get financial assistance
Kaiser Permanente employees donate to KP Helps!, a fund that gives short-term help with copays or other medical expenses to people who meet income guidelines. Any Kaiser Permanente employee or physician may apply on your behalf to KP Helps!

Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital can help
Patients concerned about their copay at Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital can call Judy Brickle at 303-837-7174. Payment plans can be arranged.

Health care in the U.S. is experiencing turbulent times. Kaiser Permanente has been in Colorado for more than 30 years, and we are committed to the community. We are very proud that we were recently rated among the top 15 health care organizations in the nation for quality.* We are working hard to continue providing high-quality, affordable health care to our patients.

* State of Managed Care, National Committee for Quality Assurance

  

About Kaiser Permanente Colorado

About Kaiser Permanente ColoradoThe Colorado Permanente Medical Group has an exclusive contract with Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado to form Kaiser Permanente Colorado, the state's largest private, non-profit health care provider in the state. CPMG is Colorado's largest medical group practice within a health care organization, and employs 800 regular status physicians representing all medical specialties and major sub-specialties. More than 483,000 members in the Denver/Boulder and Colorado Springs areas have access to Kaiser Permanente care through an expanded suite of health care products. Kaiser Permanente physicians and care teams focus on prevention as well as managing disease, all in an effort to help patients live well and thrive. Visit us online at kp.org or get the latest in health news at our News Center.