Kaiser Permanente Northern California is being lauded for achieving the highest possible rating in the state for behavioral and mental health care, and overall quality of medical care in the annual Health Care Quality Report Card from California’s Office of the Patient Advocate (OPA).
Kaiser Permanente Southern California also received 5 stars for overall clinical effectiveness in behavioral and mental health care, and overall quality of care. For the 12th consecutive year, Kaiser Permanente’s 2 California plans have been the only plans to obtain OPA’s highest rating.
The 2019-20 report card provides California consumers with side-by-side comparisons of the 16 largest HMOs and PPOs in the state. It rates them on national standard-of-care measures that involve treatment and prevention of a range of conditions that have significant implications for personal health.
“This recognition demonstrates the high-quality mental health services provided by our physicians, therapists, and nurses to our members, patients, and the communities we serve. We have made substantial investments to reduce stigma in our communities, and to increase access and convenience in mental health care,” said Janet Liang, president, Kaiser Permanente Northern California. “We are pleased to be recognized for the significant progress we’ve made to address the growing demand for quality mental health care in our country.”
In the face of a statewide and nationwide shortage of mental health professionals, Kaiser Permanente hired hundreds of therapists in California in 2019 and is investing more than $40 million to expand postgraduate training programs and advance the education and experience of its therapists and others hoping to join the mental health profession.
Kaiser Permanente has accelerated the addition of dozens of new treatment facilities as part of a $700-million investment over the next several years and supports Find Your Words, an ongoing public awareness campaign to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.
“We view mental health from a total health perspective with our primary care and mental health providers working together to make mental health and wellness part of a patient’s total health,” said Richard S. Isaacs, MD, FACS, who is CEO and executive director of The Permanente Medical Group. “These ratings show that our care teams are working diligently to keep our members mentally, physically, and emotionally healthy — and we will continue to look at all the ways we can continue to improve the high-quality mental health care we provide by meeting patients where they are.”
Leading in Clinical Quality
In addition to achieving 5 stars for mental health care, Kaiser Permanente Northern and Southern California health plans were the only plans to receive 5 stars for overall quality of medical care.
Kaiser Permanente’s 2 California regional health plans also received 5-star scores in maternity care, heart care, diabetes care, asthma and lung disease care, and preventive screenings.
The results from OPA concur with the recent Covered California ratings which recognized Kaiser Permanente as the only 5-star plan in the state for overall quality. Covered California — the state’s marketplace for the Affordable Care Act — also gave Kaiser Permanente 5 stars for “Getting the Right Care” and “Plan Services for Members.”