The Model for Preventive Medicine: Kaiser Permanente Leads Nation in 21 Quality Measures

Kaiser Permanente top-ranked for controlling high blood pressure, breast cancer screening and 19 other measures for commercial plans

Press Release
Older middle-aged man having his blood pressure checked by a nurse

OAKLAND, Calif. — One out of every three American adults has hypertension, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fewer than half of those have it under control, putting them at greater risk of developing heart disease or stroke. These numbers are dramatically different for Kaiser Permanente members.

Nearly 90 percent of Kaiser Permanente members have their blood pressure under control, according to the 2016 National Committee for Quality Assurance’s Quality Compass® data. Using a hypertension control program that is praised and held up as a national model, Kaiser Permanente health plans in the Mid-Atlantic States, Northern California, Georgia, Colorado and Hawaii are the top five commercial health plans in the nation for controlling high blood pressure, out of nearly 350 health plans considered. And Kaiser Permanente commercial plans in Southern California and Hawaii are also in the top 10 for hypertension control, tied for seventh overall.

Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to prevention and early detection and treatment of diseases doesn’t stop with high blood pressure. The organization’s health plans were also named No. 1 in the nation for 20 other measures, including breast cancer screening, postpartum care and comprehensive diabetes care (blood pressure control).

This is the eighth year in a row that Kaiser Permanente has had the most No. 1 rankings among U.S. commercial health plans. In all, Kaiser Permanente received top marks for:

Measure (Commercial, All Lines of Business)Kaiser Permanente Region/Plan
Controlling High Blood PressureMid-Atlantic States
Breast Cancer ScreeningMid-Atlantic States
Adult BMI AssessmentGeorgia, Mid-Atlantic States
Weight Assessment for Children/Adolescents – BMI PercentileSouthern California
Counseling for Nutrition for Children/AdolescentsHawaii
Counseling for Physical Activity for Children/AdolescentsHawaii
Human Papillomavirus Vaccine for Female AdolescentsMid-Atlantic States
Chlamydia Screening in Women – TotalGeorgia
Avoidance of Antibiotic Treatment in Adults with Acute BronchitisNorthwest
Use of Spirometry Testing in Assessment and Diagnosis of COPDSouthern California
Pharmacotherapy Management of COPD Exacerbation – BronchodilatorHawaii
Persistence of Beta-Blocker Treatment After a Heart AttackColorado
Comprehensive Diabetes Care – Eye ExamsMid-Atlantic States
Comprehensive Diabetes Care – Blood Pressure Control <140/90Mid-Atlantic States
Use of Imaging Studies for Low Back PainHawaii
Follow-up Care for Children Prescribed ADHD Medications – Continuation and MaintenanceHawaii
Metabolic Monitoring for Children and Adolescents on AntipsychoticsHawaii
Annual Monitoring for Patients on Persistent Medications – DigoxinGeorgia
Annual Monitoring for Patients on Persistent Medications – DiureticsGeorgia
Aspirin Use and Discussion – Aspirin UseNorthwest
Prenatal and Postpartum Care – Postpartum CareNorthern California

“We are proud of the results from NCQA, but more importantly, we are proud that Kaiser Permanente is proactive in helping our members stay healthy,” said Michael Kanter, MD, executive vice president and chief Quality officer, The Permanente Federation, the national organization for the nearly 19,000 physicians who exclusively provide care to Kaiser Permanente’s members. “Our highly skilled physicians, nurses, clinicians, front-line staff and care teams are dedicated to doing what’s best for the member.”

The annual Quality Compass database includes scores from the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set, or HEDIS, a tool that is used by more than 90 percent of America’s health plans to measure performance on important dimensions of care and service, including medication management, maternal care and respiratory conditions. While Kaiser Permanente was No.1 in 21 of the 48 care measures rated in NCQA’s Quality Compass dataset, no other health plan had more than four No. 1 rankings.

“Our focus on prevention and early intervention saves lives,” said Patrick Courneya, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals. “Our consistent year-after-year high-quality performance on these important health care measures also reflects a culture of continuous improvement that helps members achieve both physical and mental well-being.”

Kaiser Permanente has recently received high marks in several quality performance metrics, including last month’s NCQA Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2016-17, where Kaiser Permanente Medicare and commercial health plans were rated highest, or tied for highest, in all the regions the organization serves.

In addition, in the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ 2017 Medicare star quality ratings, Kaiser Permanente’s Northern and Southern California, Colorado, Northwest and Mid-Atlantic States regions received 5 out of 5 stars each, the highest overall rating. Kaiser Permanente’s Georgia and Hawaii regions earned 4.5 out of 5 stars.

The source for data contained in this publication is Quality Compass® 2016 and is used with the permission of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Quality Compass 2016 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. 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 to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 10.6 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: