February 10, 2020

Kaiser Permanente a leader in timely access to care

Kaiser Permanente is among the best in California for access to care, according to state report.

Kaiser Permanente health plan members in California who request health care services are able to get their care quicker than most, according to a recent report from the state’s Department of Managed Health Care.

According to the DMHC’s annual “Timely Access Report for Measurement Year 2018,” Kaiser Permanente delivers among the highest levels of timely access to care in the state. Among health plans that provide care statewide, Kaiser Permanente is the highest rated in all measurement categories, including nonphysician mental health care, primary care, and specialty care. Among all plans, including small regional plans, Kaiser Permanente is in the top 3 in nearly every category.

Kaiser Permanente also outperforms the behavioral health plans that are licensed by DMHC, those whose primary focus is providing mental health care services including treatment by psychiatrists as well as nonphysician mental health care clinicians. In a more detailed analysis of the data measuring access to urgent and nonurgent mental health care services, Kaiser Permanente scores 88%, 8 points higher than the top-performing behavioral health plan in the state.

“We are fully committed to achieving timely access to care, and we continue to work hard to lead and improve the way that mental health care is provided today, especially in light of the growing demand for this specialty care area. We know there is more work to do and we remain committed to continued investment to improve each member’s experience,” said Patrick Courneya, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer for National Health Plan and Hospitals Quality at Kaiser Permanente. “Our members receive timely, high- quality care because our physicians, psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, nurses, pharmacists, and all the other members of the care team are committed to making our members’ health their top priority.”

This most recent Timely Access Report, released January 23, 2020, is also aligned with independent ratings of the quality of the care provided by Kaiser Permanente. For example, in November 2019 the California Office of the Patient Advocate rated Kaiser Permanente in Northern and Southern California as the only health plans in the state to receive 5 stars, the highest rating possible, for overall clinical effectiveness in behavioral and mental health care. Similarly, Kaiser Permanente received the highest ratings awarded to a California health plan by the National Committee for Quality Assurance in 2019.

The California DMHC, established in 2000, is a state regulatory body that governs managed health care plans. Responsible for enforcing health care related laws, it was created to protect consumers’ health care rights and ensure a stable health care delivery system.