Care Beyond Compare: Kaiser Permanente Top-Rated by NCQA


Kaiser Permanente has the highest performing commercial and Medicare plan (or is tied for the highest) in every geographic region it serves.

OAKLAND Calif. —“I have a great care team around me. Kaiser Permanente has always been there for me.”

Those are the words of Gregory Lee, a 45-year-old former Southern California television personality who nearly died after contracting West Nile virus in 2015. Those sentiments are also at the center of why Kaiser Permanente continues to be rated among the elite health organizations in the nation for treatment, disease prevention and consumer experience in the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2018-2019.

“They brought me back to life,” said Lee, who developed hydrocephalus (a deadly swelling of the brain), was paralyzed and spent nearly 100 days in intensive care.  His courageous attitude — coupled with the expert care he received from Kaiser Permanente infectious disease specialists, cardiologists, neurologists, physical therapy specialists and others — is why today, nearly three years later, he continues to improve and is looking forward to walking his bride-to-be down the aisle.

“Greg basically had to start from scratch and relearn how to eat, talk and walk,” said his fiancée Gina Villasenor.

“Our entire team came together to surround Greg with all the specialty knowledge that was needed to him through,” said Quang M. Dao, MD, an internal medicine hospitalist at the Southern California Permanente Medical Group. “All those specialists communicating with one another seamlessly depended on our integrated system of care.”

This level of expert specialty care, compassion and personalized service is what has made Kaiser Permanente a leader in health care. NCQA’s annual report, released today, rates more than 1,000 health plans, including Medicare, Medicaid and Private (commercial), on a 0-to-5 scale, with 5 being the best. Among their findings:

Only 14 health plans in the country (approximately 1 percent) received a 5.0 rating this year, and Kaiser Permanente has 9 of the 14.

Kaiser Permanente has the highest rated commercial and Medicare plan (or is tied for the highest) in every geographic region it serves. Kaiser Permanente serves more than 12.2 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia.

For the third year in a row, Kaiser Permanente is the only health care organization in the country to have a health plan rate 5.0 for both its Medicare and commercial populations.

High 5s for Mid-Atlantic States

Out of more than 1,000 plans rated in the NCQA Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2018-19, Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States is the only health care entity in the nation to receive a 5.0, the highest score possible, for both its Medicare and commercial (Private) populations.

Nationally, there are only 14 “5 out 5” ratings in NCQA’s annual report, and Kaiser Permanente has 9 of them. Kaiser Permanente’s other 5.0 plans include: Medicare plans in Colorado, Hawaii, Northern California, the Northwest, and Southern California; and Medicaid plans in Virginia and Maryland.

“I am proud of these results as they shine a light on the work being done by our compassionate and highly skilled physicians, nurses and care teams,” said Michael Kanter, MD, executive vice president and chief quality officer for The Permanente Federation, the national organization for the more than 21,000 physicians who provide care to Kaiser Permanente’s members.

“While it is wonderful to be recognized as a leader in health care, the greatest measure of success is improving the lives of our more than 12 million members,” said Patrick Courneya, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals.

The NCQA’s Health Insurance Plan Ratings are based on combined scores for health plans in the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set®, commonly called HEDIS; the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems®, or CAHPS; and NCQA Accreditation standards scores.

The ratings and methodology are posted on the NCQA’s website and will soon be posted on