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Press Release

Kaiser Permanente Leads the Nation in 16 Health Plan Quality Measures

Kaiser Permanente highest rated for breast cancer screening for the fourth successive year

November 26, 2013



Male physician in the foreground with two women physicians in the background

OAKLAND, Calif.Kaiser Permanente again leads the nation’s Medicare health plans by being ranked No. 1 in 16 effectiveness-of-care measures, according to the 2013 National Committee for Quality Assurance’s Quality Compass® data, the nation’s most widely used indicator of outstanding clinical performance and patient experience.

There are 35 effectiveness-of-care measures tracked in the NCQA Quality Compass for Medicare dataset for 2013. With 16 No. 1 rankings, Kaiser Permanente is the highest performer in nearly 50 percent of them. Out of more 400 Medicare health plans in the nation, no other health plan received more than four No.1 rankings.

Kaiser Permanente received top marks for:

  • Breast cancer screening (Southern California)
  • Adult BMI assessment (Northern California)
  • Use of spirometry testing in assessment and diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (Southern California)
  • Pharmacotherapy management of COPD exacerbation — bronchodilator (Southern California)
  • Cholesterol management CAD — LDL screening (Hawaii)
  • Cholesterol management CAD — LDL level <100 (Hawaii)
  • Persistence of beta blocker treatment after heart attack (Colorado)
  • Comprehensive diabetes care — blood pressure control (<140/80) (Georgia)
  • Comprehensive diabetes care — blood pressure control (<140/90) (Colorado)
  • Comprehensive diabetes care — HbA1c testing (Hawaii)
  • Comprehensive diabetes care — <100 (Hawaii)
  • Osteoporosis management in women who had a fracture (Southern California)
  • Antidepressant medication management — acute phase (Northern California)
  • Antidepressant medication management — continuation phase (Northern California)
  • Potentially harmful drug-disease interaction — dementia (Southern California)
  • Use of high risk medications in the elderly — one drug (Northern California)

“Our outstanding performance in the Quality Compass ratings reflect Kaiser Permanente’s continued commitment to quality,” said Bernard J. Tyson, chief executive officer of Kaiser Permanente. “Our 9.1 million members are able to achieve the best health outcomes because of our Kaiser Permanente physicians, nurses and care teams who excel in proactive prevention of illness, early detection of disease, and better treatment of chronic conditions.”

Cancer-related effectiveness-of-care measures are particularly important to Kaiser Permanente, and the organization is proud that for the fourth year in a row one of its health plans was ranked highest for breast-cancer screening among the nation’s Medicare plans. For the past two years, Kaiser Permanente Southern California has led the nation in breast-cancer screening rates; in 2011, the Northwest Region was No. 1; in 2010, it was the Georgia Region.

“Our unique integrated delivery system enables us to provide affordable, high-quality patient-centered care that meets the individual needs of our members and patients,” said Jed Weissberg, MD, senior vice president, Hospitals, Quality and Care Delivery Excellence, Kaiser Permanente. “The Quality Compass rating system highlights our great accomplishments, especially our sustained high marks for cancer care. The ratings also encourage our health plans to continually improve quality and service, and lead to better patient experiences across the board.”

Additionally, three Kaiser Permanente medical centers in California were recognized by U.S. News & World Report earlier this year for being “high performing” in cancer care.

To further its commitment to fighting cancer, Kaiser Permanente recently launched kp.org/cancercare, available in both English and Spanish. The new website highlights the organization’s unique approach to overcoming cancer through earlier detection, excellent personalized care delivered with compassion, leading-edge research and technology, and lifestyle coaching.

This recognition by NCQA is the latest in a string of national accolades Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare health plans have received in the past several months. In mid-September, the NCQA ranked five Kaiser Permanente health plans — with a total membership of more than 8.2 million — as the five top Medicare plans in the country. And last month, all of Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare health plans earned 5 stars — the highest overall rating for quality and service — from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information for consumers, purchasers, health care providers and researchers.

The source for data contained in this publication is Quality Compass® 2013 and is used with the permission of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Quality Compass 2013 includes certain CAHPS data. Any data display, analysis, interpretation, or conclusion based on these data is solely that of the authors, and NCQA specifically disclaims responsibility for any such display, analysis, interpretation, or conclusion. Quality Compass is a registered trademark of NCQA. CAHPS® is a registered trademark of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. The company is recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente’s mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. It currently serves 9.1 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Kaiser Permanente experts and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. The company is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to kp.org/share.