February 1, 2017

Acquisition of Group Health Cooperative in Washington state complete

SEATTLE — Kaiser Permanente’s acquisition of Group Health Cooperative became final today, and with that, Group Health’s more than 651,000 members and more than 6,000 employees in Washington are now part of the largest integrated health system in the nation. With the acquisition, Kaiser Permanente now serves more than 11.3 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia, providing both care and coverage.

Through this acquisition, Kaiser Permanente expects to better meet the needs of individuals as well as large commercial and national accounts with employees who live and work in Washington. The move will bring Kaiser Permanente to an additional 19 counties in Washington state, including 25 primary care clinics in 17 cities, three urgent care facilities and four outpatient surgery centers. Kaiser Permanente will invest $1 billion over the next decade to expand and modernize facilities and technology, and to improve care and service. There are no immediate changes to the member care and coverage. The name change will become final in the coming weeks.

“We are proud to extend our integrated model, delivering the future of health and health care to the residents of Washington state,” said Bernard J. Tyson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente. “Since our inception 71 years ago, we have continued to deliver high-quality, affordable and accessible coverage and care to more people and communities in ways that align with our mission. Kaiser Permanente and Group Health have had a working relationship stretching back nearly 20 years, and this collaboration has resulted in high-quality care outcomes and medical excellence. We are honored to build upon the legacy of health care leadership in Washington state.”

Kaiser Permanente’s quality performance is regularly rated at the top for measures in preventive and specialty medicine in national surveys that compare the quality of care among health plans and hospitals, including the National Committee for Quality Assurance and the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

“Kaiser Permanente is recognized by industry experts for high-quality care year after year, and this acquisition brings together two leaders in integrated care delivery,” said Steve Tarnoff, MD, president and executive medical director, Washington Permanente Medical Group. “The impact on care delivery and benefit to our members and patients will be tremendous, through improvements in technology, added capital resources, and a new partnership with 19,000 Kaiser Permanente physicians in both evidence-based care delivery and clinical research. These benefits will be felt by Kaiser Permanente members in Washington for years to come."

Across the country, Kaiser Permanente has embraced technology to bring its members innovative new ways to access care and service, and the Kaiser Permanente health care system in Washington is also expected to become more connected and accessible.

“Kaiser Permanente will invest in the facilities, technology, member experience and local workforce to ensure the best possible health care and coverage for the people and communities in Washington,” said Susan Mullaney, president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington. “With these investments, our integrated model, comprehensive facilities and interactive technologies will enable us to provide our members personalized care and service on their terms, when and where they want it. More broadly, in the communities we serve, we intend to be an active partner, investing time and resources aimed at achieving total health for everyone — the optimization of mind, body and spirit.”

Kaiser Permanente and Group Health share a similar history. Both emerged in the years after World War II as organizations that pioneered the novel approach of integrating and offering care and pre-paid coverage together. Both organizations have worked with exclusive medical groups that stress a preventive approach to medicine, and at the same time offer the entire spectrum of medical specialties. These medical groups practice evidence-based medicine and support robust research operations that focus on measuring which therapies and approaches work best.

Today’s closing of the acquisition is the culmination of a process that began in December 2015, when Kaiser Permanente and Group Health Cooperative announced that a definitive agreement had been signed. Group Health then held a series of town hall meetings and discussions throughout the state of Washington regarding the proposed acquisition, engaging Group Health members as well as other individuals in the community. The review and approval process included approval by both state and federal regulators.

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 more than 11.3 million members in eight 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. 

J.P. Morgan acted as exclusive financial advisors to Kaiser Permanente in the transaction.