Contact: Kerri Leedy (559) 307-6491
OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 16, 2024 – Kaiser Permanente Northern California is being recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for providing high-quality, equitable care.
The NCQA awarded Kaiser Permanente Northern California the Health Equity Accreditation, which focuses on building an internal culture that supports the organization’s external health equity work; collecting data that helps the organization create and offer language services and provider networks mindful of individuals’ cultural and linguistic needs; and identifying opportunities to reduce health inequities and improve care.
Kaiser Permanente Northern California’s Health Equity accreditation covers all lines of business including its Commercial HMO, Exchange HMO, Medicaid HMO, and Medicare HMO health care plans.
“As a health care organization, we are committed to providing culturally responsive, equitable care to our members, patients and the communities we serve,” said Carrie Owen Plietz, FACHE, president of Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California region. “We believe everyone should have access to high-quality, affordable health care. This is core to our mission, and we are continually working to reduce barriers and eliminate health care inequities.”
Some of these efforts include:
- In 2022, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that Kaiser Permanente Northern California has eliminated colorectal cancer disparities between Black and white adults. This study looked at colorectal cancer screening participation, incidence, and death rates for Black and white KP Northern California members ages 50 to 75. The study covered a 19-year period in which our screening rate increased from approximately 40% to 80%.
- In 2022, Kaiser Permanente Northern California invested $1.1 billion in the health of the communities it serves in Northern California. A significant part of the investments supported access to quality care through participation in the Medi-Cal program and Medical Financial Assistance.
- Kaiser Permanente Northern California remains focused on addressing the root causes of health disparities, such as economic opportunity, affordable housing, health and wellness in schools, and a healthy environment.
- Kaiser Permanente embeds practices to identify and eliminate inequities across operations — from how we design buildings to how we conduct research and deliver care. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to delivering culturally responsive care, with multi-language outreach, call center staff fluent in more than 140 languages, and medical facilities uniquely focused on the needs of specific communities.
- Kaiser Permanente’s integrated care model, which provides both care and coverage, and our coordinated approach to delivering care make us a leader in addressing health disparities among our members and communities. Because Kaiser Permanente takes care of nearly all our members’ needs and records all patient care interactions in an electronic health record, Kaiser Permanente can identify health disparities among different groups.
- Kaiser Permanente employees and physicians reflect and embrace the diverse communities we serve. This allows Kaiser Permanente to provide culturally responsive, equitable care for our members and patients.
“Advancing health equity is a foundational commitment of Kaiser Permanente because everyone deserves access to high-quality health care,” said Maria Ansari, MD, FACC, chief executive officer and executive director of The Permanente Medical Group. “This NCQA accreditation reflects our ongoing commitment to creating and maintaining a culture focused on providing equitable care to our members and patients, which is essential to improving the health and well-being of the communities we serve.”
According to the NCQA, having health care organizations that are committed to eliminating health disparities in underserved populations will lead to better health outcomes and reduce overall treatment costs. NCQA’s Health Equity Accreditation program offers an actionable framework for helping health systems continuously improve—and prioritize—health equity for the patients and communities they serve.
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, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.6 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group 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 about.kp.org