In a year marked by the worldwide emergence of the coronavirus, Kaiser Permanente remained dedicated to our mission. In 2020, we provided high-quality, affordable health care while protecting our 12.4 million members, 217,000 employees, 24,000 physicians, and the communities we serve in 8 states and the District of Columbia.
Through the year, we were flexible as well as vigilant. To address ever-changing needs during this global crisis, Kaiser Permanente established mobile hospitals and triage units, recommissioned retired units, increased our available inpatient capacity, and acquired additional equipment to prepare for surges of patients. Over the course of the year, we ultimately cared for almost 600,000 patients with COVID-19, including delivering inpatient care to nearly 33,000 patients with the virus. We administered 4.8 million COVID-19 diagnostic tests, and distributed more than 43,000 household prevention kits containing masks, sanitizer, disposable gloves, and other items to lower the risk of in-home transmission of COVID-19 when a household member tests positive.
This year’s annual report highlights the unparalleled challenges of 2020 and how the people of Kaiser Permanente addressed them to improve the health of our members, patients, and communities.
When COVID-19 surfaced, we enacted safety and prevention protocols to reduce the risk of transmission.
When stay-at-home orders were enacted, we rapidly ramped up our virtual care offerings and deferred routine care and elective procedures.
When global uprisings and protests highlighted racial disparities, we heightened our existing commitment to equity, inclusion, and diversity.
When social needs of our communities and members grew, we redoubled our efforts to support programs providing housing, affordable food, and economic relief.
When intense, swift vaccine research was needed, Kaiser Permanente scientists delivered the first injection of an investigational COVID-19 vaccine.
When the pandemic disproportionately impacted Black, Indigenous, and Latino communities, we increased support and launched programs to address local needs.
When schools shuttered and needed support during virtual learning followed by instructions to reduce risks upon reopening, we collaborated with more than 30 national school health organizations to develop playbooks to help school leaders provide safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments.
Overall, Kaiser Permanente invested $3.6 billion in our communities to improve health and address factors that challenge community health.
These and other examples of Kaiser Permanente’s work during each stage of an unprecedented year can be found online in the 2020 Annual Report and the 2020 Community Health Snapshot.