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Kaiser Permanente Medicare Plans in California Get Top Ratings for Seventh Consecutive Year

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services award Kaiser Permanente highest 5-star rating for excellence in care and service quality

October 13, 2017



photo of middle-aged couple, five-star medicare star ratings in foreground

PASADENA, Calif. — For the seventh consecutive year, Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare health plans in California have earned 5 out of 5 stars for quality and service from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

“Receiving the highest rating from CMS is a testament to the high-quality care that Kaiser Permanente consistently delivers,” said Julie Miller-Phipps, president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, Inc., for the Southern California Region. “Kaiser Permanente’s patient-centered, physician-led integrated model enables our members to partner with us to become their healthiest selves.”

“This recognition is a tribute to the exceptional quality of care that our physicians and care teams provide to Kaiser Permanente members every day,” said Ed Ellison, MD, executive medical director and chairman of the board for the Southern California Permanente Medical Group. “The CMS ratings reflect the success of our compassionate care model, which is making a positive impact on the lives of our patients throughout Southern California.”

Fast facts: Medicare quality stars

What they measure: The overall scores for Medicare quality stars are based on care and service quality measures (Parts C and D) across nine categories, including staying healthy, member satisfaction, managing chronic conditions, customer service and pharmacy services. The star ratings also measure health plans’ compliance performance.

Methodology: Star ratings are calculated each year and may change from one year to the next. The methodology CMS uses for the star ratings is dynamic and continues to change. This means that Medicare health plans must stay ahead of the curve on measures that may be included in the 5-star portfolio, and continually improve their performance to achieve 5 stars.

Special enrollment opportunity: Along with high-quality care and service, another benefit of 5-star plans is a longer enrollment opportunity. Medicare beneficiaries may change to a 5-star Kaiser Permanente individual Medicare plan through a CMS 5-star Special Enrollment Period from Dec. 8, 2017, to Nov. 30, 2018, without having to wait until the next annual enrollment period.

CMS created the Medicare star quality rating system to provide beneficiaries with a way to assess Medicare plans based on quality of care and service delivery, so they can make informed decisions when choosing a plan. CMS uses the star ratings system to rank Medicare health plans on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, with 5 stars representing the highest quality.

Kaiser Permanente Medicare health plans have consistently received high ratings since CMS began awarding them in 2009. In addition to Northern and Southern California, Kaiser Permanente in Colorado, Hawaii, Northwest, and Mid-Atlantic States received 5 out of 5 stars each. Kaiser Permanente in Georgia and Washington earned 4.5 out of 5 stars.

According to CMS, Kaiser Permanente represents five of 15 Medicare health plans (with Parts C and D) that earned 5 out of 5 stars, the highest overall rating. Moreover, of the nearly 2 million beneficiaries enrolled in those 5-star plans nationwide, 72 percent are Kaiser Permanente Medicare members.

Kaiser Permanente’s high rating by CMS is the latest of several quality recognitions the organization has achieved this year. In the “NCQA Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2017-2018” report, the National Committee for Quality Assurance lists all seven Kaiser Permanente Medicare plans as the highest rated or ranked, or tied-for-highest, in the markets they serve — for the sixth year in a row. And for the fifth consecutive year, Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare website, kp.org/Medicare, was rated one of the top Medicare websites in the nation for providing consumers with an easy, positive and high-value experience.

Medicare beneficiaries can learn more about the star ratings and Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare health plans by visiting kp.org/medicarestars.

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, Kaiser Permanente has a 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 11.8 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 Permanente Medical Group 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 share.kaiserpermanente.org.