Kaiser Permanente Share » Regions » National http://share.kaiserpermanente.org News, Views and Moves from Kaiser Permanente Fri, 24 Oct 2014 00:40:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Mother’s Gestational Diabetes Linked to Daughters Being Overweight Later http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/mothers-gestational-diabetes-linked-to-daughters-being-overweight-later/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/mothers-gestational-diabetes-linked-to-daughters-being-overweight-later/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:00:59 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_article&p=11723 OAKLAND, Calif. — Women who developed gestational diabetes and were overweight before pregnancy were at a higher risk of having daughters who were obese later in childhood, according to new research published today in Diabetes Care.

Based on long-term research that included a multi-ethnic cohort of 421 girls and their mothers (all members of Kaiser Permanente Northern California), the study is among the first to directly link maternal hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) to offspring being overweight later.

“Glucose levels during pregnancy, particularly gestational diabetes, were associated with the girls being overweight, and this association was much stronger if the mother was also overweight before pregnancy,” said Ai Kubo, PhD, the study’s lead author and an epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif.

Logo for the CYHNET study - swans with a purple background

Cohort study of Young Girls’ Nutrition, Environment, and Transitions (CYGNET)

The girls were part of the Cohort study of Young Girls’ Nutrition, Environment, and Transitions (CYGNET), part of a National Institutes of Health-funded consortium examining early determinants of puberty.

“This research builds on our long-term study of pubertal development in girls, which has been underway since the girls were between 6 and 8 years old,” said Lawrence H. Kushi, ScD, a study co-author and CYGNET study principal investigator at the Division of Research.

The girls were followed from 2005 to 2011, with annual clinic visits to measure each girl’s height, weight, body fat, abdominal obesity and other parameters. Pregnant women in the Kaiser Permanente system take glucose tolerance tests during gestational weeks 24 to 28. Kaiser Permanente’s comprehensive electronic medical records allowed researchers to link data collected on the girls to information about their mothers.

Twenty-seven mothers in the study had gestational diabetes. If a girl’s mother had gestational diabetes, her risk of having a body mass index at or above the 85th percentile was 3.5 times higher than that of girls whose mothers did not have gestational diabetes. This association was independent of other important factors that influence girl’s obesity, such as race/ethnicity, maternal obesity and girl’s pubertal stage.

Furthermore, the study found that if the girl’s mother was also overweight and had gestational diabetes, her subsequent risk of being overweight was about 5.5 times higher. Similar associations were observed for a girl’s increased body fat and likelihood of having abdominal obesity.

Kubo said the study suggests that behavior modifications in women to reduce weight gain and improve lifestyle before and during pregnancy may also help reduce the risk of obesity in their offspring.

“Once obesity happens, it’s really hard and expensive to reverse,” Kubo said. “Working with mothers during and before pregnancy to make lifestyle improvements could have long-term benefits for their children as well.”

Funding support for the study came from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Center for Research Resources.

In addition to Kubo and Kushi, co-authors of the study were Assiamira Ferrara, MD, PhD, Charles P. Quesenberry, Jr., PhD, Cecile A. Laurent, and Anousheh S. Mirabedi, of the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research; Gayle C. Windham, PhD, California Department of Public Health; Louise C. Greenspan, MD, Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center; Julianna Deardorff, PhD, University of California, Berkeley; and Robert A. Hiatt, MD, PhD, University of California, San Francisco.

About Kaiser Permanente Division of Research
The Kaiser Permanente Division of Research conducts, publishes and disseminates epidemiologic and health services research to improve the health and medical care of Kaiser Permanente members and the society at large. It seeks to understand the determinants of illness and well-being, and to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care. Currently, DOR’s 500-plus staff is working on more than 250 epidemiological and health services research projects. For more information, visit www.dor.kaiser.org or follow us @KPDOR.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve approximately 9.5 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. Our expert 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. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to kp.org/share.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/mothers-gestational-diabetes-linked-to-daughters-being-overweight-later/feed/ 0
Study Finds Significant Increase in Rates of Type 1 Diabetes Among U.S. Non-Hispanic White Youth http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/study-finds-significant-increase-in-rates-of-type-1-diabetes-among-u-s-non-hispanic-white-youth/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/study-finds-significant-increase-in-rates-of-type-1-diabetes-among-u-s-non-hispanic-white-youth/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:00:11 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_article&p=11715 PASADENA, Calif. — The rate of non-Hispanic white youth diagnosed with type 1 diabetes increased significantly from 2002 to 2009 in all but the youngest age group of children, according to a new study published today in the journal Diabetes.

The study included data from more than 2 million children and adolescents living in diverse geographic regions of the United States. Within this population, researchers identified 5,842 non-Hispanic white youth, 19 years old and younger, newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes over the 8-year study period. They found that from 2002 to 2009, the rate of type 1 diabetes rose from 24.4 per 100,000 youth in the first year of the study to 27.4 per 100,000 youth in the last year of the study. The study is based on the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth registry, one of the largest and most contemporary studies of diabetes in U.S. youth.

“Type 1 diabetes is the predominant form of diabetes diagnosed in childhood. The incidence has been rising in many other countries, particularly in Europe, but data from large populations in the U.S. were limited,” said study lead author Jean M. Lawrence, ScD, MPH, MSSA, of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation. “This project provides a much larger and more geographically diverse sample than previous studies in the U.S.”

The study also showed that the increases were most pronounced among children aged 5 to 9, with smaller increases among those 10 to 14 years old and 15 to 19 years old, but there was no increase in incidence among children 4 years old and younger. In addition, the rate of increase was slightly higher for boys than for girls, according to the researchers.

“Our findings indicate that the rates of type 1 diabetes in youth are increasing,” Lawrence said. “These trends will continue to be monitored in the U.S. by the SEARCH study to help identify trends in type 1 diabetes in non-Hispanic white youth and youth from other racial and ethnic groups, and to identify potential causes of these increases.

“We have been seeing more children being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes over the 8 years of this study and these children will require specialized health care as they enter young adulthood.”

Girl who appears very tired at a desk writing or drawing in a notebook

Classical symptoms of type 1 diabetes include frequent urination, increased thirst, dry mouth, increased hunger, fatigue and weight loss. Find out more on kp.org »

The SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study is a national multicenter study aimed at developing a deeper understanding of type 1 and type 2 diabetes among children and adolescents in the United States. The study, which started in 2000, involves centers located in five states — California, Colorado, Ohio, South Carolina and Washington — and is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Type 1 diabetes, previously known as juvenile diabetes, is usually diagnosed in childhood, with only 5 percent of all people with diabetes having this form of the disease, according to the American Diabetes Association. In type 1 diabetes, the body loses its ability to produce insulin, a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy for daily life. Insulin therapy and other treatments are required to help people with type 1 diabetes manage their condition, live long, healthy lives and to prevent or delay diabetes-related complications that may affect their eyes, nerves and kidneys.

Additional study authors include Giuseppina Imperatore, MD, PhD, of the Division of Diabetes Translation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Dana Dabelea, MD, PhD, of the Department of Epidemiology, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado Denver; Elizabeth J. Mayer-Davis, PhD, of the Department of Nutrition, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina and School of Medicine, University of North Carolina; Barbara Linder, MD, PhD, of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health; Sharon Saydah, PhD, of the Division of Diabetes Translation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Georgeanna J. Klingensmith, MD, of the Division of Diabetes Translation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta; Lawrence Dolan, MD, of the Division of Endocrinology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati; Debra A. Standiford, MSN, CNP, of the Division of Endocrinology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center; Catherine Pihoker, MD, of the Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle; David J. Pettitt, MD, of the Sansum Diabetes Research Institute; Jennifer W. Talton, MS, of the Department of Biostatistical Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Joan Thomas, MS, RD, of the Department of Nutrition, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Ronny A. Ball, PhD, of the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, Wake Forest School of Medicine; and Ralph B. D’Agostino, Jr., PhD, of the Department of Biostatistical Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, for the SEARCH For Diabetes in Youth Study Group.

About the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation
The Department of Research & Evaluation conducts high-quality, innovative research into disease etiology, prevention, treatment and care delivery. Investigators conduct epidemiology, health sciences and behavioral research as well as clinical trials. Areas of interest include diabetes and obesity, cancer, HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease, aging and cognition, pregnancy outcomes, women’s and children’s health, quality and safety, and pharmacoepidemiology. Located in Pasadena, California, the department focuses on translating research to practice quickly to benefit the health and lives of Kaiser Permanente Southern California members and the general population. Visit kp.org/research.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve approximately 9.3 million members in 8 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. Our expert 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. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to kp.org/share.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/study-finds-significant-increase-in-rates-of-type-1-diabetes-among-u-s-non-hispanic-white-youth/feed/ 0
Kaiser Permanente Revs Up Car Charging Stations http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-revs-up-car-charging-stations/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-revs-up-car-charging-stations/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:00:41 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_article&p=11713 Taking additional steps to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, Kaiser Permanente is adding electric vehicle charging stations to its medical centers and other locations nationwide.

Three charging stations opened at the Kaiser Permanente Vacaville Medical Center last week, and another five California locations are expected to install stations over the next six months: the San Francisco, Roseville and San Rafael medical centers, the Garfield Specialty Center in San Diego, and the Kaiser Permanente administrative offices in Pasadena. Within two years, another 50 locations across the country are scheduled to host at least three stations.

A blue car parked at a blue charging station at Vacaville Medical Center

A car charging up at the eVgo station.

“Hosting charging stations is a natural fit for our medical centers, where thousands of people come daily to work and to access the care and services they need to manage their health,” said Ramé Hemstreet, vice president of facilities operations and Kaiser Permanente’s chief energy officer. “By promoting sustainable transportation and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, Kaiser Permanente is taking concrete steps toward reducing air pollution and conditions that can harm health.”

Electric vehicles dramatically reduce smog and greenhouse gas emissions. Passenger vehicles release roughly 1.5 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions into the environment each year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, contributing to global climate change. Driving an electric vehicle can reduce the greenhouse emissions associated with its travel by as much as 70 percent in some locations, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s GHG emissions calculator at www.fueleconomy.gov.

A close-up view of the blue charger

eVgo charging station

Kaiser Permanente is partnering with NRG eVgo, which will operate and maintain the stations. Visitors and staff can use a credit card or subscribe to one of NRG eVgo’s monthly plans to pay for use of a charging station.

Kimberly Yang, MD, a physician at Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center, drives a Chevy Volt.

“I’ve cut back on fuel by over half, even taking into account the cost of electricity,” she said of her electric plug-in hybrid car. “I liked the idea of reducing my carbon footprint.”

She also likes that Kaiser Permanente is supporting the use of electrical vehicles by hosting charging stations at its medical centers and administrative offices.

“I think one of the things holding people back from getting electric cars is the limited availability of charging stations,” Dr. Yang said.

For more information about electric vehicles and EV charging, visit the NRG eVgo website at http://www.nrgevgo.com/.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-revs-up-car-charging-stations/feed/ 0
Kaiser Permanente Northern California Bargaining Updates http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-northern-california-bargaining-updates/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-northern-california-bargaining-updates/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:00:02 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_article&p=10791 Kaiser Permanente is currently involved in contract bargaining with the California Nurses Association. We will regularly add updates to this page with additional information throughout the bargaining process.

Kaiser Permanente has a long and productive relationship with organized labor. But we know actions speak louder than words, and that’s why we are proud to employ more union workers than any other health care organization in the country. In fact, nearly two-thirds of our workforce is made up of union-represented employees. Kaiser Permanente is one of the largest employers in all of California, with more than 60,000 employees in Northern California alone. We employ roughly 16,000 nurses throughout Northern California and more than 48,000 nurses throughout the country.

Detail of infographic - health care transformation, committed to quality

How Kaiser Permanente is transforming care.
Download .pdf »

We believe the bargaining table should be a place of mutual respect and we are prepared to listen carefully and respond respectfully to the union’s bargaining team, and as always, bargain in good faith to reach agreement. At Kaiser Permanente, we believe that bargaining should consider both the needs of our employees, and what will best help our organization meet the needs of our members and patients.

Bargaining updates are posted below:


Bargaining update from October 22, 2014:

Kaiser Permanente Gives California Nurses Association (CNA) 10 Tentative Agreements to Sign

We urge the union to sign these agreements and resolve their open proposals.

CNA Proposal Kaiser Permanente Offer/Agreement CNA Response
Training Positions Kaiser Permanente agreed to 310 training positions over 3 years, in areas including OR, L&D, Home Health, ICU and more; and gave CNA a tentative agreement to sign. None yet
Break Relief Kaiser Permanente agreed to stop having nurses take breaks in the first and last hour of their shifts, and gave CNA a tentative agreement to sign. None yet
Uninterrupted Training Time Kaiser Permanente agreed to uninterrupted training time, and gave CNA a tentative agreement to sign. None yet
Education Funding Kaiser Permanente agreed nurses may submit up to $500 for education-related travel expenses as part of the recently announced tuition reimbursement policy enhancement, and gave CNA a tentative agreement to sign. None yet
Leaves of Absence Kaiser Permanente agreed to a work re-entry process for nurses who have been on long-term leaves of absence, and gave CNA a tentative agreement to sign. None yet
Safe Patient Handling Regulations (CA) Kaiser Permanente agreed to place a reference to the new state regulations in the collective bargaining agreement, and gave CNA a tentative agreement to sign. None yet
GRASP® Regional Meetings Kaiser Permanente agreed that GRASP® educators can attend Regional GRASP® meetings, agreed to provide one GRASP® educator per medical center, and gave CNA two tentative agreements to sign. None yet
GRASP® Educators
PPC Committee Kaiser Permanente agreed to add one chief nurse representative to the PPC, and gave CNA a tentative agreement to sign. None yet
RN Response Network Kaiser Permanente agreed to this proposal and gave CNA a tentative agreement to sign. None yet

Also in bargaining today, we continued discussions with CNA over Kaiser Permanente’s readiness to diagnose and treat Ebola.

We are firmly committed to protecting our nurses with PPE that meets or exceeds CDC standards. We believe that Kaiser Permanente and CNA fundamentally agree on the standards to follow and the steps we need to take to protect our employees and patients. Kaiser Permanente proposed to meet with CNA in a small group of representatives and infectious disease experts to expeditiously discuss and resolve any real issues between the parties.


Bargaining update from October 16, 2014:

Today, Kaiser Permanente responded to CNA’s revised proposal related to Ebola preparedness. We understand our nurses’ — and all our employees’ — concerns that we stay safe should we be called upon to treat a patient diagnosed with this disease. We offered to meet as a small work group to discuss and resolve our mutual concerns regarding this vitally important issue. We await the union’s response.

We are well prepared to safely screen and treat for Ebola

Kaiser Permanente is committed to ensuring that any and all patients we admit for treatment of Ebola virus disease get the best care possible, using reliable clinical evidence and safety approaches.

We have implemented extensive protocols, training and simulations to ensure our staff is prepared to screen all incoming patients, and our care teams are prepared to treat any patient who may be diagnosed with Ebola virus disease, with the safety of all our employees and members being of our utmost concern.

Today in bargaining

In today’s session, CNA refused to bargain over 36 proposals they themselves have put on the table, demanding that we first make a wage and benefit proposal. We explained once again that we believe negotiations will move more expeditiously if we focus first on the issues already on the table before moving to wages, benefits and other issues. And, as we have stated in the past, the union is also free to bring economic or any other proposals it would like, at any time.

CNA has not yet committed to another bargaining session. We told CNA that we are anxious to continue bargaining and are available tomorrow, this weekend, and every day next week to meet.


Bargaining update from October 14, 2014:

Today was the 16th bargaining session between Kaiser Permanente and the California Nurses Association (CNA). We made progress on a number of the 37 remaining noneconomic proposals the union brought to the table. Despite this incremental progress, however, much work remains to be done on these proposals.

The union has pushed for a date by which Kaiser Permanente will provide proposals on wages and benefits, and has accused Kaiser Permanente of delaying — which could not be further from the truth. We have bargained in good faith, responded to each union proposal, and continue to work diligently in an effort to gain more tentative agreements.

Typically during contract bargaining at Kaiser Permanente and other organizations, the union and management have agreed to bargain noneconomic proposals to resolution before bargaining economic proposals. This approach allows proper attention to be paid to proposals having to do with our nurses’ working conditions — issues that are important to keeping Kaiser Permanente the best place for nurses to practice their profession and calling. With this in mind, we made the same agreement with the union when we started bargaining. We have repeatedly told the union that we would be able to present wage and benefit proposals on Oct. 16 — IF we were able to show significant progress on the proposals already on the table.

Given the number of proposals that remain open, it is unlikely that we will be able to start discussion on economic proposals this coming Thursday. The union is, of course, free to make wage and benefit, or any other proposal it likes. We believe, however, that the most expeditious way to reach overall agreement on a collective bargaining agreement is to narrow the issues already on the table before taking on new issues.

Today in bargaining

 In today’s session, there was discussion about the following:

  • Long term leaves of absence: Discussion from both parties concerns minimum qualifications required for nurses who have been on long-term leave to be able to bid on posted positions.
  • GRASP®: Kaiser Permanente made a counterproposal regarding the number of GRASP® educators in the region, and guidelines for their work, geared toward advancing Kaiser Permanente nurses’ knowledge of the GRASP® patient acuity system.
  • Resource nurses: CNA gave a presentation regarding the need to have additional nurses on standby, without patient care assignments, to provide assistance as needed.
  • Educational expense reimbursement: The union provided a counterproposal that included examples of additional materials and mobile apps they propose be covered under Kaiser Permanente’s tuition reimbursement policy, as well as related travel expenses.
  • RN Response Network: Kaiser Permanente presented a counterproposal that agreed to the union’s request for 25 nurses regionwide being granted unpaid leave in the event of disasters, to participate in the union’s emergency response program.

Our next scheduled bargaining session is Thursday, Oct. 16.


Bargaining update from October 9, 2014:

Today was the 15th bargaining session between Kaiser Permanente and California Nurses Association (CNA).

To date, the union has presented Kaiser Permanente with 39 proposals, to which we have responded. We are waiting for CNA to consider the counterproposals we have made and further respond. Today the union ended the session at about 12:15 p.m., after discussing only a few items.

As we’ve said before, CNA has asked that we present our “economic” proposals, but the union is not bargaining actively over the many proposals it has already placed on the table. We have urged CNA to work through these proposals, some of which have clear economic impacts, with a greater sense of urgency. To keep things moving, we have repeatedly summarized for the union what is still outstanding. We have asked if additional information is needed in order for them to respond to our counterproposals. We have offered to meet additional days, but the union has said they are not available next Monday or Wednesday. And to be clear, the union is free to bring its own “economic” proposals to the table, as it already has done. The union’s suggestion that Kaiser Permanente is stalling, as we have heard, is simply untrue.

Today in bargaining

Today, there was discussion about the following:

  • GRASP Regional Education Committee — The union made a counterproposal around the number of inter-rater reliability audits conducted.
  • Nurse Practitioners — CNA gave a presentation on nurse practitioners. We explained the process used to determine Nurse Practitioner staffing needs.
  • Educational Expense Reimbursement — The union will be providing more specific examples of reference materials they propose be covered outside of the current policy.
  • Proposed language in the contract about appropriate use of sick leave.
  • Updating side letters and appendices.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 14.


Bargaining update from October 8, 2014:

Kaiser Permanente and California Nurses Association (CNA) engaged in productive discussion on multiple proposals on the table yesterday and today.

What happened in today’s negotiations

So far this week, we have given the union our responses or counterproposals on topics including:

  • Training opportunities for our nurses
  • Donations by nurses to the union’s RN Response Network
  • GRASP® use, GRASP® Educators and GRASP® committee participation (GRASP® is an acronym for Grace Reynolds Application and Study of PETO [Poland, English, Thornton and Owens] )
  • Professional Performance Committee membership clarification
  • The inclusion of state regulations on safe patient handling in the text of the Collective Bargaining Agreement
  • Appropriate engagement of traveler nurses
  • Re-entry protocols for nurses who have been on extended leaves of absence

We have received tentative agreements from the union on only two of the 39 operational proposals we have addressed. These proposals focus on key aspects of nurses’ working lives, and it is important that we resolve as many of them as possible before moving our attention to the economic proposals.

We await responses from CNA on those proposals that remain open for negotiation. The next bargaining session is scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 9.


Bargaining update from October 1, 2014:

Progress Made in Today’s Negotiations
Kaiser Permanente and California Nurses Association (CNA) signed two tentative agreements and engaged in productive discussion about proposals on the table today.

What happened in today’s negotiations

  1. Tentative agreements
    • Kaiser Permanente and CNA tentatively agreed that nurses will be able to access BRN-approved courses that provide continuing education or continuing medical education units during non-scheduled work time without pre-approval from managers. Educational leave for employees on any leave of absence would require management pre-approval. We also tentatively agreed to add one quality liaison.
  2. Kaiser Permanente gave the union responses to seven operational proposals.
    • Included was a response to the union’s concerns about Kaiser Permanente’s level of preparedness in the event we receive patients suspected of being infected with Ebola virus. We assured the union that Kaiser Permanente has comprehensive plans and procedures in place for such events and that we continue to develop a proactive approach.

Kaiser Permanente’s bargaining team is eager to complete bargaining on operational proposals. This would pave the way to begin discussing economic proposals on Oct. 16. CNA’s bargaining committee requested that we cancel tomorrow’s bargaining session so that the union bargaining team can caucus.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 7.


Bargaining update from September 30, 2014:

Today was the 11th meeting between Kaiser Permanente and the California Nurses Association (CNA). Kaiser Permanente and CNA mutually agreed to extend the current collective bargaining agreement to Friday, Oct. 24, in order to provide more time for negotiations.

What happened in today’s negotiations
Today, CNA’s bargaining team expressed a desire to begin negotiating economic proposals. We told them we would make economic proposals on Oct. 16, provided that sufficient progress has been made on the operational proposals that are currently on the table.

We are waiting for CNA to respond to 20 pending counterproposals that Kaiser Permanente made at the table Sept. 17 and 18 in response to CNA’s proposals on operational issues — including our counterproposals on specialty training for nurses, break and relief timing and nurses’ participation in reviewing new technology. CNA has not yet responded to our counterproposals, and instead brought seven items to bargaining today that added to their existing operational proposals. Kaiser Permanente’s bargaining team is considering these additions.

In response to CNA’s information requests, we have furnished extensive materials and will continue to do so, as appropriate.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 1.


Bargaining update from September 18, 2014:

Today was the 10th meeting between Kaiser Permanente and the California Nurses Association (CNA). Negotiations continued to be respectful and productive, as Kaiser Permanente presented proposed solutions that we believe will resolve the challenges described in the union’s proposals, while supporting Kaiser Permanente’s ability to deliver on its mission of delivering high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve.

Report from today’s negotiations
As of today, we have responded to all 38 of CNA’s current proposals. We await 20 responses from the union.

Educational leave
Today, we presented a counterproposal regarding educational leave. We share a mutual interest in ensuring our nurses can swiftly access BRN-approved courses that provide continuing education or continuing medical education units during non-scheduled work time.

Optimal break/meal timing
We also presented two letters of intent, to answer seven union proposals. We share a mutual interest in avoiding scheduling nurses to take breaks in the first or last hour of their shifts — these are important times in which our nurses assess their patients and exchange information on patient care with nurses coming in to work the next shifts. Kaiser Permanente presented its plan to solve this issue without needing to hire additional nurses, but instead by facilitating movement of staff nurses to achieve and maintain balanced staffing levels in each medical center, unit and shift.

Training nurses in new specialties
We presented a letter that details our commitment to creating a nurse fellowship program that will allow us to post and fill training positions, to ensure that into the future we will have nurses where our patients need them and that our nurses have the opportunity to enhance their professional practice.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 30.


Bargaining update from September 17, 2014:

Today was the ninth meeting between Kaiser Permanente and the California Nurses Association. Negotiations continued to be respectful and productive.

Report from today’s negotiations
To date, we have presented 11 counter proposals to CNA. Today, the union responded to one regarding education leave approval. Kaiser Permanente is reviewing the union’s counter proposal.

Kaiser Permanente gave a counter proposal regarding CNA’s RN Response Network (RNRN), a charitable organization that organizes and supports disaster relief. The union is reviewing our counter proposal. We share a mutual interest in supporting nurses who wish to help care for those affected by disasters. If agreed upon, Kaiser Permanente will:

  • Add RNRN as an option for charitable donations listed in the collective bargaining agreement.
  • Grant up to 30 days unpaid leave for up to 15 nurses region-wide during each event requiring emergency response.
  • Allow nurses to use accrued vacation time when responding to disasters where relief efforts are not sponsored by Kaiser Permanente.

Kaiser Permanente and CNA share a commitment to protect nurses from workplace injuries. We described this today in a presentation response to the union’s proposals for lift teams. We presented detailed information about our Patient Mobilization Safety Program and reinforced our invitation for nurses to participate in Regional Workplace Safety Steering Committee meetings.

Additional bargaining dates
The union gave eight dates on which it will be available for bargaining from Sept. 30 to Oct. 16. The union agreed to consider another contract extension as the Sept. 30 expiration date nears.


Bargaining update from September 10, 2014:

Sept. 10 was the seventh meeting between Kaiser Permanente and the California Nurses Association (CNA). The process of negotiations continued at a steady rate, reflecting the extensive work being done in a short amount of time to prepare responses to the union’s proposals. We want to acknowledge the time and efforts of the bargaining team and the many Kaiser Permanente professionals supporting bargaining, in addition to their regular duties.

Report from bargaining
Today, CNA gave verbal responses and requested clarification about counter-proposals Kaiser Permanente gave the union last week, in which Kaiser Permanente:

  • Announced an increase in our tuition reimbursement policy.
  • Proposed to extend reimbursement for continuing education units.
  • Proposed an increase in quality committee nurse practitioner representatives.
  • Proposed uninterrupted time for completion of legally required compliance training.

Kaiser Permanente then presented responses to five previous union proposals, some of which involved multiple elements, including:

  • A Kaiser Permanente counter-proposal with enhanced nurse residency training programs for needed specialties based upon business needs.
  • Our mutual interest in supporting nurses who want to volunteer to provide disaster relief, including facilitating leave requests for a mutually agreed upon number of nurses, and Kaiser Permanente’s existing policy to consider paying travel expenses on a case-by-case basis.
  • Reiterating that we value our nurses’ professional judgment along with the judgment of our managers — and that the contract already provides for this judgment to prevail concerning the complexity of a home health patient’s condition — by allowing extra time for consultation as well as a process to ensure safe staffing predictions in home health care.

Follow-up to last week’s bargaining
After last week’s bargaining, CNA published an alert that incorrectly described Kaiser Permanente’s proposal for a voluntary program for call center nurses to work remotely. The union incorrectly characterized our proposal as an attempt to “outsource” work. Our proposal is intended to respond to what we have heard from nurses about their desire to work from home, as well as for Kaiser Permanente to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Also following last week’s session, CNA prompted an article in a labor-friendly local publication with untrue allegations about staffing and equipment at the Oakland Medical Center, reflecting CNA’s recent statements resisting the use of technology in health care. The allegations made in the article are unfounded. We use appropriate technology as an adjunct for our care teams because it benefits our patients and leads to better, more reliable and consistent patient outcomes.


Bargaining update from September 4, 2014:

To date, Kaiser Permanente has met six times with the California Nurses Association, receiving 38 proposals from the union as of last week. On Sept. 4, in respectful and productive negotiations, we presented nine written responses — eight counter proposals and one letter of understanding. In addition, we engaged in positive discussion about union proposals we have not yet responded to in writing. Over the next several days, Kaiser Permanente’s bargaining team will send additional counterproposals for the union’s consideration. The next bargaining sessions are scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 10, and Thursday, Sept. 11.


Bargaining update from August 28, 2014:

Today, Kaiser Permanente met with the California Nurses Association (CNA) to continue negotiations. To date, the union has presented 38 proposals. Our bargaining team has responded to 15 of these, and is working diligently on responses for those that remain. We are identifying areas of mutual interest and look forward to discussing these with CNA.

In today’s negotiations, CNA gave two stirring presentations — one on violence against care team members in the workplace, and another on the union’s RN Relief Network (RNRN), which provides nurses in rapid response to natural disasters in the United States and abroad. We told the union that we agree in principle with the need to support our nurses in these vital efforts, and that we will develop a response to CNA’s RNRN proposal that builds on Kaiser Permanente’s existing policies. In addition, we let the union know that we have mutual interest in finding agreement about the union’s proposal related to workplace violence, to support our nurses’ well-being.

In bargaining this week, Kaiser Permanente and CNA mutually agreed to extend the current collective bargaining agreement to Sept. 30, 2014, in order to provide additional time for negotiations. This means that all of the terms of the current collective bargaining agreement, including the no-strike provision, will remain in effect through Sept. 30.

By mutual agreement, negotiations will continue on Thursday, Sept. 4.


Bargaining update from August 20, 2014:

In the first day of bargaining last week, Kaiser Permanente management’s bargaining team presented an overview of the changing health care environment and what we need to do today in quality, service and affordability, so we can be sure that the organization will be here in the future to provide high quality, affordable health care for generations to come. The Kaiser Permanente team also was proud to use the opportunity to acknowledge how our nurses are influencing and transforming health care, for the good of our patients and the nursing profession. And we stated our unwavering commitment to keeping Kaiser Permanente the pre-eminent place for nurses to work in health care.

In our presentation we shared with the union bargaining team, and the assembled nurses, the principles that will guide us through bargaining.

We will:

Ensure that Kaiser Permanente continues to be the best place for nurses to work
This includes continuing to provide competitive wages and benefits, a safe workplace, the right resources and technology, and providing for a secure retirement.

Do the right thing for our patients
Our members and patients are at the center of everything we do. As health care transforms, we have a responsibility to change as well, for the benefit of our patients, our members and our communities.

Make health care more affordable for our members and others in the community
We believe that the cost of health care in this nation has reached a level that is unsustainable and out of reach for most people, and we are committed to lead the effort to change this.

Lead the way in quality, value and affordability
Every one of us in health care has a choice – either seize the opportunity to be an architect of change, or choose to wait and see what others do and hope for the best. We choose to lead.

Kaiser Permanente and the California Nurses Association (CNA) met again on August 20 for contract negotiations, during which the union shared 11 proposals. Dialogue was productive and respectful. Negotiations will continue on August 21, and are scheduled to take place on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week, as well.


Bargaining update from August 7, 2014:

Statement by Gay Westfall, senior vice president, Human Resources, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan, Northern California

Oakland, Calif., August 7, 2014 – Negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement between Kaiser Permanente and the California Nurses Association (CNA) were scheduled to start on July 31. The current bargaining agreement is set to expire on Aug. 31.

Initiating negotiations has been problematic due to issues we are trying to resolve, including agreement on a neutral site for bargaining as well as basic ground rules for how the proceedings will be conducted.

For bargaining to be productive, it is important that it take place in a neutral location and with ground rules that foster reasonable discussion. We asked a federal mediator to assist us in coming to agreement on some simple yet important principles before negotiations begin, for example, that each party be given the opportunity to present and explain proposals without interruption, and be assured that the parties will conduct themselves professionally and not be disruptive during the bargaining proceedings.

We were in discussions with the union through late last night and early this morning, but were unable to resolve the outstanding issues. As a result, we notified CNA that we would not be bargaining today.

Meanwhile, today, there were approximately 200 union members rallying at our downtown Oakland offices to divert attention from negotiations. We are concerned about this disruptive behavior at the outset of what are important negotiations for our nurses and the organization.

We care deeply for our nurses and for what they do every day for our patients. We take seriously our commitment to keeping Kaiser Permanente the preeminent place for our nurses to practice their profession and calling.

Kaiser Permanente is ready to come to the bargaining table, confident that we can reach a mutually beneficial agreement and look forward to a meaningful dialogue and an atmosphere of mutual respect.


Bargaining update from July 31, 2014:

Statement by Gay Westfall, senior vice president, Human Resources, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan, Northern California:

Oakland, Calif., July 31, 2014 – Today was supposed to mark the opening of negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement between Kaiser Permanente and the California Nurses Association. The current agreement is set to expire on Aug. 31, 2014.

Both parties agreed to meet on July 31. For the benefit of both, we believe it is best that bargaining take place in a neutral location. We have been in discussions for a number of weeks on this topic and proposed multiple sites. In an effort to facilitate an agreement, we secured a neutral location, and invited the union to meet us there. We said we would be there ready to bargain and we were. The nurses’ union refused to meet us there, or at any other neutral site, to bargain. Instead, the union continued to insist that today’s session had to be at its own headquarters. We are disappointed that the union used this approach at the outset of what are important negotiations for our nurses and the organization.

Kaiser Permanente is ready to come to the bargaining table, confident that we can reach a mutually beneficial agreement, and look forward to a meaningful dialogue and an atmosphere of mutual respect. We care deeply for our nurses and for what they do every day for our patients.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-northern-california-bargaining-updates/feed/ 0
Five Important Tips for Choosing a Medicare Health Plan http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/five-important-tips-for-choosing-a-medicare-health-plan/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/five-important-tips-for-choosing-a-medicare-health-plan/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:35:21 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_article&p=11685 As baby boomers retire in record numbers — 10,000 Americans a day — more seniors than ever will be asking themselves, “How do I choose a Medicare health plan that’s right for me?”

“Seniors should look for a high-quality health plan that has a team of doctors and specialists, who work together to coordinate your care and keep you healthy,” said Patrick Courneya, MD, medical director, Kaiser Permanente Medicare Health Plans.

Dr. Courneya offers these five important tips to help older adults make an informed decision for a healthy future.

  1. Know when to enroll
    Anyone who first becomes eligible for Medicare as they turn 65 can enroll during the three-month period before or after their 65th birthday. Those who choose to enroll after this window of time may pay a late enrollment penalty. Medicare-eligible members may join or change plans during open enrollment from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 each year, or they can join a Medicare 5-star quality-rated plan nearly all year long. See tip 4 for star ratings details.
  1. Know the difference between Medicare and Medicare Advantage
    Medicare is the national health insurance program that began in 1965 and covers millions of Americans who are 65 and older, and those with certain disabilities. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private organizations and approved by Medicare. Some Medicare Advantage plans offer extra benefits such as vision. Enrollment trends show that nearly 1 in 3 people who have Medicare are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.
  1. Confirm health plan doctors accept new Medicare members
    Choose a Medicare health plan that offers a network of doctors and specialists who accept new Medicare members. Some physicians are opting out of caring for Medicare members. Also, keep in mind, as Medicare members age, they may need access to more specialists who accept Medicare members.
  1. Two senior men sitting outside playing chess in park with a senior woman hugging one manUse the Medicare 5-star Quality Ratings Tool
    The Medicare Star Quality Ratings system was created by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to help beneficiaries choose high-quality Medicare health plans. Plans receive an overall rating from 1 to 5 stars, with 5 being the highest for quality and service. Medicare members have the benefit of joining a 5-star plan nearly all year — from Dec. 8 through Nov. 30 of the next year. They must be eligible and live where a 5-star plan is offered.
  1. Review your health care needs annually
    A Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that many beneficiaries — once enrolled in a Medicare health plan — don’t often feel confident they made the right choice, and don’t review their plan if their health care needs change. Medicare enrollees can use the Medicare star ratings to help them feel confident about choosing a high-quality plan.

The Kaiser Permanente Medicare health plans in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Oregon, Virginia, Washington and Washington, D.C. received 5 stars — the highest possible Medicare rating for 2015. Kaiser Permanente’s Georgia plan received 4.5 stars for 2015.

Star ratings information can be found on kp.org/medicarestars or by calling 1-877-425-7892. Plans are rated each year and may change from one year to the next.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/five-important-tips-for-choosing-a-medicare-health-plan/feed/ 0
Kaiser Permanente’s Mail-Order Pharmacy Ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction by J.D. Power for 6th Year in Row http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanentes-mail-order-pharmacy-ranked-highest-in-customer-satisfaction-by-j-d-power-for-6th-year-in-row/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanentes-mail-order-pharmacy-ranked-highest-in-customer-satisfaction-by-j-d-power-for-6th-year-in-row/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:00:02 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_article&p=11682 OAKLAND, Calif. — For the sixth consecutive year, Kaiser Permanente’s mail-order pharmacy was ranked highest in customer satisfaction by the J.D. Power and Associates 2014 U.S. Pharmacy StudySM.

The J.D. Power and Associates study measures customer pharmacy satisfaction based on responses from nearly 14,000 customers who filled new prescriptions or refilled current prescriptions in the three months prior to the survey. The study ranks organizations in four categories: cost competitiveness, prescription delivery, prescription ordering process and customer service experience.

“We are dedicated to providing our members with high-quality health care that is convenient and affordable,” said David Kvancz, vice president, national pharmacy programs and services, Kaiser Permanente. “We value this recognition because our mail-order pharmacy is an important part of the integrated Kaiser Permanente experience that our members know and love. It’s just one example of how we help them take care of their health in ways that meet the demands of their busy lifestyles.”

Kaiser Permanente’s mail-order pharmacy provides its members easy and convenient options to manage their prescriptions. They can refill prescriptions through My Health Manager on kp.org or on-the-go from anywhere through the Kaiser Permanente mobile app. Powered by Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect®, the largest civilian electronic health record system in the world, My Health Manager and the mobile app empower 4.5 million members to engage with their care teams and become actively involved in their health.

Mail-order refills through My Health Manager and the mobile app continue to grow in popularity. In 2013, members refilled almost 14.8 million prescriptions online — a 25 percent jump from 2012. Members can always choose to speak to a live person by calling the mail-order pharmacy, or they can place orders using the organization’s 24-hour EasyFill refill phone system.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve approximately 9.5 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. Our expert 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. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanentes-mail-order-pharmacy-ranked-highest-in-customer-satisfaction-by-j-d-power-for-6th-year-in-row/feed/ 0
Kaiser Permanente Recognized as a Leader in LGBT Health Care Equality http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-recognized-as-a-leader-in-lgbt-health-care-equality/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-recognized-as-a-leader-in-lgbt-health-care-equality/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 16:00:23 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_article&p=11662 OAKLAND, Calif. — Kaiser Permanente has been recognized as a leader in LGBT health care equality in the Healthcare Equality Index 2014 report, an annual survey conducted by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organization. All 38 of Kaiser Permanente’s hospitals across the country submitted the Health Equity Index survey, and each achieved leadership status for its commitment to equitable, inclusive care for LGBT patients and their families.

In 2010, Kaiser Permanente was the first health care provider and hospital system that the Human Rights Campaign designated as a leader in LGBT health care equality. For the past five years, Kaiser Permanente has consistently achieved leader status for all of its hospitals.

“Kaiser Permanente’s participation and leadership status in the Human Rights Campaign Healthcare Equality Index is one way we demonstrate our commitment to diversity, inclusion and our vision of improving the health of our members and the diverse communities we serve,” said Ronald L. Copeland, MD, FACS, senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer at Kaiser Permanente. “We are committed to our continuous journey of learning how to best deliver culturally responsive and respectful care and promote LGBT health equity.”

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation developed the Healthcare Equality Index to meet an urgent need on the part of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans for equitable, knowledgeable, sensitive and welcoming health care, free of discrimination based on LGBT status.

“It is a great honor for Kaiser Permanente to achieve leadership status in health care equality for the fifth year in a row,” said Raymond J. Baxter, PhD, senior vice president for Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy. “This status is a testament to our commitment to providing exemplary and personalized care for all of our members.”

About The Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all. For more information please visit www.hrc.org.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve approximately 9.5 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. Our expert 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. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-recognized-as-a-leader-in-lgbt-health-care-equality/feed/ 0
Defining the Parent Role in the Social Network http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/defining-the-parent-role-in-the-social-network/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/defining-the-parent-role-in-the-social-network/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 22:13:23 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_link&p=11681 The conventional wisdom of our parenting culture can convince us that we must be in control of our children’s choices and behavior. After all, we are the ones who are raising them, right? Well, that is partially true. By the time our children reach adolescence, the influence of peers and popular culture becomes much stronger, and the seminal lesson for the modern parent is to realize the boundary of our role in their cyber-powered life.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/defining-the-parent-role-in-the-social-network/feed/ 0
El Concilio: Four to be Honored for Community Service http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/el-concilio-four-to-be-honored-for-community-service/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/el-concilio-four-to-be-honored-for-community-service/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 01:10:37 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_link&p=11689 A Kaiser Permanente pediatrician in Northern California recognized for his community
service efforts.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/el-concilio-four-to-be-honored-for-community-service/feed/ 0
Kaiser Permanente Celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-celebrates-national-disability-employment-awareness-month/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-celebrates-national-disability-employment-awareness-month/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 18:01:41 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_article&p=11655 October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and Kaiser Permanente is proud to support this important event. The organization encourages every employee to show his or her support in raising awareness about disability employment issues and celebrating the many and varied contributions persons with disabilities bring to the workplace and the greater community.

This year’s theme, “Expect. Employ. Empower.” rings true for Kaiser Permanente. We realize that although many persons with disabilities are prepared, willing and able to work, they constitute a largely untapped talent pool. As a result, they remain out of the labor force at a much higher rate than those reporting no disabilities. There is a clear need for transformational action and Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to creating a culture of support for persons with disabilities among our workforce, members, patients and the communities we serve.

The roots of National Disability Employment Awareness Month go back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to “National Disability Employment Awareness Month.” Upon its establishment in 2001, the Office of Disability Employment Policy assumed responsibility for the awareness month and has worked to expand its reach and scope.

We all play an important part in fostering a more inclusive workforce, one where every person is recognized for his or her abilities — every day of every month.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-celebrates-national-disability-employment-awareness-month/feed/ 0
Stress in America: 3 Simple Treatments http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/stress-in-america-3-simple-treatments/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/stress-in-america-3-simple-treatments/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 00:42:58 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_link&p=11687 In his weekly Forbes.com column, Robert Pearl, MD, describes how to reduce stress and improve health.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/stress-in-america-3-simple-treatments/feed/ 0
Kaiser Permanente’s California Health Plans Rated Highest for Quality for Seventh Consecutive Year http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanentes-california-health-plans-rated-highest-for-quality-for-seventh-consecutive-year/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanentes-california-health-plans-rated-highest-for-quality-for-seventh-consecutive-year/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 22:15:33 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_article&p=11650 OAKLAND, Calif. — One of California’s most respected health care rating systems — the Office of the Patient Advocate — this week recognized Kaiser Permanente’s health plans as having the highest quality in the state for the seventh consecutive year.

The California OPA ratings showed that Kaiser Permanente Northern California and Kaiser Permanente Southern California are the only health plans in California to earn a four-star rating — the highest possible — for overall quality of care in the OPA’s annual Healthcare Quality Report Card.

The annual report card by the Office of the Patient Advocate provides California consumers with side-by-side comparisons of the largest health plans in the state, ranking them on several national “quality of care” and “member care experience” measures. Clinical measures include cancer screenings, diabetes care, heart care, hypertension treatment, maternity care and other quality-of-care measures. No other health plan received the top rating for overall clinical care measures.

The 2014 OPA ratings follow several other recent honors received by Kaiser Permanente Northern California and Southern California health plans and hospitals:

  • Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare plans in California received a 5-star rating for 2015, the only health plan in the state to get the top rating, and one of only 11 plans in the nation to get a 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Approximately 400 plans were rated nationwide, and 2015 was the fourth straight year that Kaiser Permanente in California received 5 stars.
  • Kaiser Permanente commercial health plans in Northern California and Southern California were ranked in the top 10 among more than 500 in the nation, according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s 2014 survey of health plans.
  • Nineteen Kaiser Permanente hospitals in California were named Top Hospitals in 2013 by the Leapfrog Group. Only 55 urban hospitals in the nation — of more than 1,100 surveyed — received this honor.
  • Thirty-five Kaiser Permanente hospitals in California received “A” grades in the Leapfrog Group’s 2014 Safety Scores.
  • Kaiser Permanente members rated the organization’s health plan highest in member satisfaction in California for the seventh consecutive year in the 2014 U.S. Member Health Plan study by J.D. Power and Associates.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve approximately 9.5 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. Our expert 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. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanentes-california-health-plans-rated-highest-for-quality-for-seventh-consecutive-year/feed/ 0
Week 1 in Freetown, Sierra Leone – Dispatch From Hernando Garzon, MD http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/week-1-in-freetown-sierra-leone-dispatch-from-hernando-garzon-md/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/week-1-in-freetown-sierra-leone-dispatch-from-hernando-garzon-md/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 03:23:31 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_link&p=11645 Hernando Garzon, MD, is director of Kaiser Permanente Emergency Management in Northern California, and medical director for Emergency Medical Services in Sacramento County. He has accepted a relief mission on behalf of the International Medical Corps, which has launched Ebola treatment facilities in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/week-1-in-freetown-sierra-leone-dispatch-from-hernando-garzon-md/feed/ 0
Kaiser Permanente Names Julie Miller-Phipps President of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-names-julie-miller-phipps-president-of-kaiser-foundation-health-plan-of-georgia/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-names-julie-miller-phipps-president-of-kaiser-foundation-health-plan-of-georgia/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 22:30:22 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_article&p=11641 OAKLAND, Calif. — Kaiser Permanente today announced that Julie Miller-Phipps has been named president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia.

Miller-Phipps has been with Kaiser Permanente for more than 30 years and has a track record of demonstrated success throughout her career. She has served most recently as the senior vice president and executive director of Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan in Orange County, Calif., leading a service area that has 23 medical offices and serves more than 480,000 members.

During her tenure in Orange County, Miller-Phipps worked in close collaboration with the Southern California Permanente Medical Group to lead a high-performing team of 750 physicians and 6,000 employees who successfully opened two new hospitals, consistently delivered high-quality care and service, and experienced a significant growth in membership.

Previously, Miller-Phipps served in several other leadership roles at Kaiser Permanente, including director of Hospital Operations, Continuing Care leader and assistant hospital administrator.

In addition to appointing Miller-Phipps to her new role, Kaiser Permanente announced that it will align the Southern California region with the Georgia region, using a proven Kaiser Permanente practice in which a larger region helps enhance and accelerate a smaller region’s development and performance.

“Kaiser Permanente is recognized as a model for the future of health care in this country, and we are committed to creating the best health experiences and outcomes for each of the 9.5 million members we serve,” said Bernard J. Tyson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente.  “With Julie’s leadership and the dedication of our employees and physicians — in Georgia and throughout the organization — we will continue to enhance the high-quality, 21st century health care experience we provide to the people of Georgia.”

Miller-Phipps steps into this role as Kaiser Permanente is reinforcing its commitment to deliver care and coverage to more people, customers and communities in Georgia. She succeeds Kerry W. Kohnen, who has served as president of the Georgia region since 2011 and is retiring after a nearly 40-year career with Kaiser Permanente.

“Kaiser Permanente is widely recognized as a leader in quality and prevention,” Miller-Phipps said. “Through our investments in our people, technology and innovation, we will continue to build on the success we have had in Georgia and continue to be a model for delivering high-quality and affordable health care.”

Kaiser Permanente Georgia was recently recognized as one of the top 20 commercial health plans in the country according to this year’s National Committee for Quality Assurance rankings of more than 500 health plans. It has also been the highest rated health plan in the state for 10 consecutive years by NCQA.

Additionally, all seven Kaiser Permanente Medicare health plans, including Georgia, are ranked in the top 10 out of more than 408 Medicare plans rated by NCQA.

About Kaiser Permanente Georgia
Kaiser Permanente is Georgia’s largest not-for-profit health plan. Its mission is to provide high quality, affordable health care services to improve the health of its members and the communities it serves. Kaiser Permanente serves more than 260,000 members in a 28-county service area in metro-Atlanta and four counties in Athens with care focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of heath care providers. Expert and caring medical teams are supported by industry-leading technology and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art delivery and world-class chronic disease management.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 9.5 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. Our expert 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. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to kp.org/share. 

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-names-julie-miller-phipps-president-of-kaiser-foundation-health-plan-of-georgia/feed/ 0
‘Proud to Be Kaiser Permanente’ Shows How Organization is the Future of Health Care http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/proud-to-be-kaiser-permanente-shows-how-organization-is-the-future-of-health-care/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/proud-to-be-kaiser-permanente-shows-how-organization-is-the-future-of-health-care/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 21:46:24 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_link&p=11618 In “Proud to Be Kaiser Permanente,” employees and physicians talk about what makes Kaiser Permanente a great place to receive care and to work.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/proud-to-be-kaiser-permanente-shows-how-organization-is-the-future-of-health-care/feed/ 0