DENVER — Kaiser Permanente, Colorado’s largest nonprofit health plan, announced today it is exploring plans to offer health care services in Colorado’s mountain communities for the first time by 2016. The initial focus will be on expanding to the mountain communities along the I-70 corridor.
Kaiser Permanente currently offers health care services and health plan coverage along Colorado’s Front Range — in Metro Denver and Boulder, as far north as Fort Collins, Greeley and Loveland and as far south as Colorado Springs and Pueblo.
“We are excited about the possibility of expanding access to our high- quality health care services in Colorado’s mountain communities,” said Donna Lynne, DrPH, president, Kaiser Permanente Colorado. “As the state’s top-ranked health plan, we believe we can provide great value to these communities by offering more affordable health care options in an area where there is significant need.”
Kaiser Permanente has experienced unprecedented membership growth in 2014 through Colorado’s health insurance marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado. By mid-April, the health plan enrolled more than 58,000 members through the marketplace.
“We knew we would grow but we were pleasantly surprised at just how many individuals and businesses decided to choose Kaiser Permanente. Clearly, the past year has shown that Coloradans have embraced our model of providing top- notch care and coverage and we are looking forward to making that choice available to additional communities in the state,” Lynne said.
Kaiser Permanente is still in the early stages of planning this expansion into Colorado’s mountain communities.
“This expansion is exciting news for all of us at Kaiser Permanente. We are pleased to be working with our health plan partners to consider partnerships with local physicians and hospitals as well as bringing primary care based care delivery and enhanced specialty support,” said William Wright, MD, executive medical director, Colorado Permanente Medical Group.
As membership along the Front Range has increased, Kaiser Permanente has expanded its brick and mortar presence to ensure care is delivered in convenient, close to home locations. Last December, the health plan opened a large-scale specialty center in Lone Tree, south of Denver. The Lone Tree Medical Offices are serving hundreds of Kaiser Permanente members every day.
In addition, in 2012 Kaiser Permanente expanded into Northern Colorado for the first time with primary care focused medical offices in Fort Collins and Loveland and more recently in 2014, additional offices in Greeley. The health plan’s members in Northern Colorado also have access to a network of more than 400 primary and specialty care providers. This includes Banner Health and affiliated physicians in Weld and Larimer counties. Hospital care is directly coordinated with Banner Health at McKee Medical Center in Loveland and North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley.
Kaiser Permanente also recently announced plans to expand and greatly enhance health care serves and coverage options for members in Southern Colorado. The multi-year plan includes new medical offices, the addition of some specialty services provided by Kaiser Permanente physicians and additional health plan coverage options at various price levels.
About Kaiser Permanente Colorado
Kaiser Permanente Colorado is the state’s largest nonprofit health plan, proudly working to improve the lives and health of Colorado residents for 45 years. Kaiser Permanente Colorado provides comprehensive health care services to more than 585,000 members through 28 medical offices and a network of affiliated hospitals and physicians. The health plan was named “Highest in Member Satisfaction” among Commercial Health Plans by J.D. Power and Associates for the seventh straight year. Kaiser Permanente was recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as the top- ranked commercial health plan in Colorado and the fourth ranked Medicare plan in the nation. Kaiser Permanente was also recently recognized as a 2012 Hypertension Champion by Million Hearts™. In 2013, Kaiser Permanente proudly directed more than $96 million to community benefit programs to improve the health of all Coloradans. For more Kaiser Permanente news, visit kp.org/share or follow us on Twitter @kpcolorado or facebook.com/kpcolorado.