News & Views

Press Release

Kaiser Permanente Medicare Plans Receive Top Quality and Service Ratings

October 10, 2014

Older woman holding star-shaped fruit

OAKLAND, Calif. — More than 1.2 million Medicare members count on Kaiser Permanente for top quality health care. One of them, 68 year-old Medicare Advantage member, Maureen Nass, was unaware of her near fatal heart condition until a bout of dizziness landed her in a cardiac care unit of Kaiser Permanente in Northern California. Kaiser Permanente’s ability to detect her condition quickly through its comprehensive approach to care helped save Maureen’s life. “The doctors, the nurses there, I couldn’t have gotten better care. I can’t say enough good things about them.”

Stories like Maureen’s give insight to the high-quality, coordinated care patients receive at Kaiser Permanente. This type of integrated care is one of the many reasons why the Kaiser Permanente Medicare health plans in its California, Northwest, Hawaii, Colorado and Mid-Atlantic States regions received 5 stars, the highest overall rating for quality and service, released today by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for 2015. Kaiser Permanente’s Georgia region received 4.5 stars.

Medicare 5 Stars - white stars on a blue background

  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services created the Medicare Star Quality Rating System in 2009 to provide beneficiaries with a way to assess Medicare plans based on quality of care and service delivery. Since then, Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare plans have maintained high performance in all states in which we operate:
  • Kaiser Permanente Colorado Region received the highest possible rating of 5 stars for the fifth year in a row and is the highest rated Medicare Advantage Plan with prescription drug coverage (MA-PD) in the state.
  • Kaiser Permanente Northern and Southern California, and Hawaii regions received the highest possible rating of 5 stars for the fourth year in a row and are the highest rated MA-PD plans in their states.
  • Kaiser Permanente Northwest Region received the highest possible rating of 5 stars for the fourth year in a row.
  • Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States Region received the highest possible rating of 5 stars for the third year in a row and is the highest rated Medicare Cost Plan with prescription drug coverage in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. There are no 5-star MA-PD plans in these states.
  • Kaiser Permanente Georgia Region received a 4.5 star rating. There are no 5-star MA-PD plans in the state.

Nationwide, Kaiser Permanente represents five of 11 Medicare Advantage Plans with prescription drug coverage that earned 5 stars for 2015.

“The high ratings we achieve year after year reflect the dedication our physicians and care teams have to the quality and total health of our patients,” said Patrick Courneya, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer for Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. “We strive continuously to enhance and improve our proactive communications with members and aligned team-based care to detect, prevent and treat chronic conditions and diseases through a patient-centered approach.”

The Medicare star quality ratings provide Medicare beneficiaries with information to help assess Medicare health plans’ quality of care and service delivery and make an informed choice when selecting a plan. Through the Medicare star quality ratings, CMS rates Medicare health plans with prescription drug benefit (both Parts C and D) on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, with 5 stars representing the highest quality. The overall scores are based on 46 care and service quality measures across nine categories, including staying healthy, managing chronic conditions, member satisfaction, customer service and pharmacy services.

“At Kaiser Permanente, we are passionate about providing the best care and service experience for our members,” said Amy Compton-Phillips, MD, chief quality officer, The Permanente Federation. “These ratings are a result of the compassionate, hassle-free, cutting-edge care our physicians, nurses and care teams provide our members to help them live healthy, productive lives.”

In addition to the Medicare star quality ratings, Kaiser Permanente Medicare plans were also recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance report — NCQA’s Health Insurance Plan Rankings 2014-15 — as the highest-ranked Medicare plans in the nation for the fourth year in a row. The report ranks all seven Kaiser Permanente Medicare health plans No. 1 in the regions or states they serve.

Along with high-quality care and service, another benefit of a 5-star plan is that Medicare beneficiaries may change their health plan to Kaiser Permanente through the 5 Star Special Enrollment Period from Dec. 8, 2014, to Nov. 30, 2015, without having to wait until the next annual enrollment period. All of Kaiser Permanente physicians accept Kaiser Permanente Medicare health plan members.

Medicare beneficiaries can learn more about the Medicare Star Quality Ratings and Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare plans by visiting or by calling Kaiser Permanente at 1-877-425-7892.

Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system. Star ratings are calculated each year and may change from one year to the next.

Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States includes Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Kaiser Permanente Northwest includes Oregon and Washington.

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: