DENVER — Kaiser Permanente Colorado is once again the state’s highest rated health plan for providing care and service to its Medicare members.
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ 2020 Star Quality Ratings, Kaiser Permanente Colorado’s Medicare health plan received 5 out of 5 stars, CMS’ highest rating — only 20 plans nationwide were given a 5-star rating. In addition, Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare health plans are among the highest rated in every region it serves. Kaiser Permanente provides care to nearly 1.7 million Medicare members in 8 states and the District of Columbia.
“Providing truly exceptional, high-quality care to all our members is central to who we are as an organization,” said Margaret Ferguson, MD, president and executive medical director of the Colorado Permanente Medical Group which provides care to the 640,000 members of Kaiser Permanente Colorado. “We are honored by this 5-star designation and thank all our care providers for their continued excellence in delivering the best medicine to our members.”
CMS annually rates health plans on a 1 to 5 scale, with 5 being the highest, to provide beneficiaries with a way to assess Medicare plans based on the level of care and service delivery.
“This is an incredible honor, made possible by our dedicated teams, physicians and staff who work tirelessly caring for our members every single day. Our focus on quality, affordability and a top-notch member experience set us apart,” said Mike Ramseier, president of Kaiser Permanente Colorado.
Judy Arpaio, a recent cancer survivor, knows first-hand why Kaiser Permanente Colorado — which has one of the state’s largest Medicare populations with more than 100,000 members — received 5 out of 5 stars from CMS.
“When I heard I had a nodule on my lung, I was scared — anxious about what was to come,” said Judy Arpaio, a Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage member. “My Kaiser Permanente care team put me at ease and my surgeon took amazing, compassionate care of me.”
Arpaio was diagnosed with a form of lung cancer that was not the right fit for traditional lung cancer surgery. So, Kaiser Permanente surgeons offered Arpaio a new, less invasive surgical option that can safely remove small, cancerous lung nodules without having to wait for them to grow. This technique involves less pain, less surgical time, less pain medication, and offers a faster recovery time.
“Despite a reduction in smoking among Americans, lung cancer still leads to more fatalities than any other cancer. And the key to stopping or slowing its progress is early detection and treatment,” said Lanny Dunham, MD, Kaiser Permanente Colorado thoracic surgeon and co-developer of the new lung cancer surgery technique.
“With this new technique, we’re able to diagnose and treat lung cancer earlier and in a less invasive manner — meaning more lives saved, and a quicker, less painful recovery.”
Arpaio is now on the road to recovery.
“Looking back, as frightening as it was, I had a good experience through and through. Kaiser Permanente is top-notch and cared for me like no one else could,” said Arpaio.
Another benefit of 5-star plans is a longer Special Enrollment Period. Medicare beneficiaries may change to a 5-star Kaiser Permanente individual Medicare plan through a CMS 5-star Special Enrollment Period from Dec. 8, 2019, to Nov. 30, 2020, without having to wait until the next annual enrollment period.
Medicare beneficiaries can learn more about the star ratings and Kaiser Permanente Colorado’s Medicare health plans by visiting kp.org/medicarestars.
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 12.3 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 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.