Kaiser Permanente Medicare Plans Receive Highest Star Ratings for Quality and Service from Medicare

New survey shows few seniors know about easy-to-use Medicare Star Quality Rating tool

Oct 12, 2011, 16:41 ET from Kaiser Permanente

OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente announced today that its Medicare health plans in its California, Northwest, Hawaii and Colorado regions all received an overall rating of 5 stars for parts C and D, the highest rating from The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for 2012, and its Georgia, Ohio and Mid-Atlantic States regions received 4.5 stars.

Through the Medicare Star Quality Rating System, CMS assigns scores of one to five stars to Medicare Advantage plans based on more than 50 care and service quality measures across five categories that include staying healthy, managing chronic conditions, member satisfaction, customer service, and pharmacy services.

"The Medicare Star Quality Rating System encourages health plans to improve care and service, leading to better patient experiences across the board," said Jed Weissberg, MD, senior vice president, Hospitals, Quality and Care Delivery Excellence, Kaiser Permanente. "Our organization maintains an ongoing commitment to quality that is shared by our physicians and employees who provide care and service to our members each day. We are very honored that our plans have received such excellent ratings."

In addition to the ratings announcement, Kaiser Permanente released survey findings revealing that consumers have a low awareness of the Medicare Star Quality Rating System. According to the survey conducted by Harris Interactive, only 18 percent of Medicare-eligible seniors said that they are familiar with the government's rating system, and of those that are familiar, less than one-third have used the system to select their health plan. The survey also showed that only 2 percent of respondents know how their current health plan is rated.

"The Medicare Star Quality Rating System offers seniors an easy, objective resource to identify quality health plans in their community," said Amy Compton-Phillips, MD, associate executive director for Quality at The Permanente Federation. "We hope more seniors and their families are able to use this tool to make informed choices about their health care. Similarly, we believe the key to excellent care is collaboration between physicians and patients to make informed decisions to get and stay healthy."

Enrollees can learn more about the Medicare Star Quality Ratings and Kaiser Permanente's Medicare plans by visiting www.kp.org/medicarestars, www.Medicare.Gov, or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Plan performance summary star ratings are assessed each year and may change from one year to the next. Kaiser Permanente Northwest includes Oregon and Washington. Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States includes Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

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 8.8 million members in nine 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: www.kp.org/newscenter.

About the Study

This study of Medicare-eligible seniors was conducted by phone September 21-25, 2011 by Harris Interactive on behalf of Kaiser Permanente. A population of 483 Medicare-eligible seniors was surveyed and has a sampling error of +/- 4 percent.

Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American and European offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients - stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Health Plan Management System, Plan Ratings 2012.

For more information, contact:
Diana Yee, 510-271-6671, diana.m.yee@kp.org

SOURCE Kaiser Permanente