Ramin Davidoff, MD, and coauthors discuss how patient advisory councils help improve quality of care in The Permanente Journal.
Kaiser Permanente health plans earn 5 stars for quality mental health care, overall quality of care
OAKLAND, Calif. — Kaiser Permanente Northern and Southern California health plans are the only plans in the state to achieve 5 stars — the highest possible rating — for overall clinical effectiveness in behavioral and mental health care, according to the annual Health Care Quality Report Card from the California Office of the Patient Advocate.
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 standards-of-care measures that involve treatment and prevention of a range of conditions that have significant implications for personal health.
“Our 5-star rating is a reflection of the exceptional work being done by our mental health providers and our substantial investments in this area,” said Don Mordecai, MD, Kaiser Permanente’s national leader for mental health and wellness. “These ratings validate our commitment to improving the health of our members and the communities we serve. We are proud to be recognized for the outstanding personalized and outcomes-driven care that keeps our members mentally, physically, and emotionally healthy.”
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.
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. This marks the 12th consecutive year that Kaiser Permanente’s plans have stood apart as the only plans to receive OPA’s top ratings.
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.”