Kaiser Permanente Announces Significant Expansion Plans In Southern Colorado

Feb 20, 2014, 11:30 ET from Kaiser Permanente Colorado

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Feb. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente Colorado today announced plans to expand and greatly enhance services and health plan offerings in Southern Colorado. Over the next few years, Kaiser Permanente will begin offering several specialty services at its medical offices in Southern Colorado and open its Briargate Medical Offices to all ages, removing the current 55 and older age restriction. The health plan will also pursue plans to open new medical offices in Colorado Springs by 2015 and develop a new suite of health insurance plans that will offer expanded coverage options at various price levels.

Kaiser Permanente is Colorado's largest and top-ranked nonprofit health plan, serving more than 565,000 members along the Front Range, including more than 56,000 members living in Southern Colorado. The health plan's new additions in Southern Colorado will offer more choice for members while maintaining Kaiser Permanente's top quality standards and commitment to affordability.

"This is an exciting time for Kaiser Permanente in Southern Colorado," said Donna Lynne, DrPH, president, Kaiser Permanente Colorado. "Health care is changing rapidly and in order for us to be able grow and effectively serve our current and future members we must offer additional convenience and choice. This new phase will strengthen our community partnerships and elevate the exceptional patient care our physicians and care teams deliver every day."

Kaiser Permanente's Southern Colorado expansion plans will begin with specialty care services being offered in Colorado Springs. Allergy care is now available and other specialties, including pediatric care, dermatology, rheumatology and adult medical genetics, will be phased in later this year. Additional specialties will be introduced within the next few years. These specialty services are available to Kaiser Permanente members of all ages living in Southern Colorado.

In 2014, Kaiser Permanente will remove the age restriction for members to access care at its Briargate Medical Offices in Colorado Springs. Currently, care at this facility is limited to Kaiser Permanente members ages 55 and older. The Briargate Medical Offices offer comprehensive primary care services – family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics – some specialty care, laboratory services, pharmacy and routine medical imaging.

As Kaiser Permanente increases its services in Southern Colorado, the health plan is developing new health plan options for employer groups, families and individuals. These plans will accommodate different budgets and plan preferences and allow Kaiser Permanente to offer a full suite of options for all ages and incomes.

Kaiser Permanente also plans to launch a brick-and-mortar expansion in Southern Colorado with new medical office buildings being constructed over the next several years. The number of facilities, locations and opening dates will be announced at a later date. It is anticipated that this expansion will provide a healthy boost to the Southern Colorado economy with the addition of new jobs.

"This ambitious expansion plan builds on Kaiser Permanente's proven track record of providing highly coordinated patient care in Southern Colorado," said Richard Spurlock, M.D., Kaiser Permanente's Southern Colorado medical director. "Now, more of our Southern Colorado members will benefit from Kaiser Permanente's integrated care delivery system that leverages technology with collaborative care teams to help them be as healthy as they can be."

By connecting its integrated care delivery system to partnerships with a wide affiliated physician provider network, Kaiser Permanente has been able to efficiently and effectively serve its members living in Colorado Springs, Pueblo and surrounding communities. Kaiser Permanente members will continue to have access to Kaiser Permanente physicians and a network of more than 800 affiliated providers in Southern Colorado.

"Over the past 17 years, Kaiser Permanente has established collaborative partnerships with physicians and hospitals in Southern Colorado as part of our mission to deliver high-quality, affordable health care to this community," said Holly Kortum, Kaiser Permanente's executive director of operations in Southern Colorado. "These partnerships will continue to be an integral part of our model in Southern Colorado. We rely on them to offer greater technology, coordinated care, reduced costs and, overall, an improved member experience."

In addition, Kaiser Permanente recently announced a new partnership with the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization (CORHIO), the state-designated entity for health information exchange. This agreement will allow for enhanced care coordination and improved quality of care through health information exchange with Southern Colorado hospitals.

Kaiser Permanente consistently ranks among the top health plans in the nation for quality and customer satisfaction. According to the 2013-2014 National Committee for Quality Assurance's Insurance Plan Rankings, Kaiser Permanente is the top rated commercial health plan in Colorado. Kaiser Permanente Colorado's 2014 Medicare plan received five stars from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the program's highest rating. In Southern Colorado specifically, Kaiser Permanente has launched innovative, personalized care programs such as Kaiser Permanente Hospital Medicine at Memorial Central and North Hospitals and Kaiser Permanente Care Connections.

Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to improving the health of its members and the communities it serves. In 2013, Kaiser Permanente donated approximately $500,000 to Southern Colorado nonprofit and community based organizations; continued its $1 million commitment to provide scholarships and loan repayments to allied health and nursing students in Southern Colorado who elect to spend two years working in safety net clinics following their graduation through the Care Equity Project; and issued a $130,000 donation to the American Red Cross with funds specifically earmarked to support the Pikes Peak Chapter.

For more information on becoming a Kaiser Permanente member, visit www.kp.org or call 1-866-294-7661.

About Kaiser Permanente Colorado
Kaiser Permanente Colorado is the state's largest nonprofit health plan, proudly working to improve the lives and health of Colorado residents for 45 years. Kaiser Permanente Colorado provides comprehensive health care services to more than 565,000 members through 28 medical offices and a network of affiliated hospitals and physicians. Kaiser Permanente was recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as the top- ranked commercial health plan in Colorado and the fourth ranked Medicare plan in the nation. Kaiser Permanente was also recently recognized as a 2012 Hypertension Champion by Million Hearts™. In 2013, Kaiser Permanente proudly directed more than $96 million to community benefit programs to improve the health of all Coloradans. For more Kaiser Permanente news, visit kp.org/share or follow us on Twitter @kpcolorado or facebook.com/kpcolorado.

SOURCE Kaiser Permanente Colorado