Our impact in Hawaii

News and perspectives on public policy in Hawaii

Our impact in Hawaii

News and perspectives on public policy in Hawaii

Kaiser Permanente has been in Hawaii for 60 years and currently serves members throughout the state. We’re the state’s second-largest health plan and offer a wide variety of coverage options for small group, large group, and individual and family health insurance markets. We serve our members using a unique business model that combines health coverage and care delivery into one coordinated experience.

Kaiser Permanente’s goal is to be the champion of health care in Hawaii — for our members and everyone who lives and works in our community. Through partnerships with community groups, schools, and government organizations, we work to improve access to health care, influence public policy, and develop programs that promote healthy living.

Issues

COVID-19 response 

Kaiser Permanente continues to safely provide screening, testing, treatment, and vaccinations for COVID-19. Our response to COVID-19 has been multifaceted and includes:  

  • Rapid and accurate on-site testing
  • 5 infectious disease specialists available around-the-clock
  • Integrated COVID-19 clinics for patients after hospitalization
  • Phone check-ins and blood oxygen home monitoring for high-risk patients

Total health

Helping people thrive is core to our mission. Some of sour work in this area includes addressing food insecurity and working to build healthy, sustainable food systems; supporting advocacy to increase affordable housing and striving to end homelessness; promoting economic opportunity; doing our part to end systemic racism; and improving health for students, staff, and teachers through our Thriving Schools program. 

Mental health 

We are dedicated to ensuring access to behavioral and mental health, especially in light of the increased needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Kaiser Permanente believes in and supports coverage, systems of care, prevention and early intervention in communities, research, defeating stigma, and building the mental health workforce. 

Prescription drugs

Prescription drug prices continue to rise, threatening to make vital therapies unaffordable for many patients. Kaiser Permanente has long been a leader in high-quality, affordable pharmaceutical care, and supports efforts that bring more transparency and accountability to drug pricing within our state. 

Affordability

Kaiser Permanente is committed to providing high-quality, affordable health care services to all the communities we serve. We have an evidence-based approach to the practice of medicine, which leads to more effective and efficient care for our patients and members, and better health outcomes. We remain committed to defending Hawaii residents from unfair billing practices. 

We also continue to work closely with the health care community and other stakeholders to find ways to deliver more affordable health care options to the people of Hawaii. 

Tobacco

The rapidly growing use of nicotine products among our nation’s youth is one of the most critical public health issues currently facing our country. To ensure the future health of our communities, we must help young people avoid becoming addicted to these harmful products. Flavored tobacco plays a key role in convincing young people to try them and are often the first step to lifelong addiction. 

In 2020, the Hawaii legislature introduced the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2020, House bill 2457, which attempted to prohibit the sale or distribution of all flavored tobacco products in the state. Kaiser Permanente continues to support removing all flavored tobacco products from the market, including flavored electronic cigarettes.

Telehealth

Telehealth is a key component of Kaiser Permanente’s integrated approach to delivering high-quality care. Our members receive a wide variety of clinical care and services, free from geographic constraints, from their physicians and care team. Supporting legislation such as Hawaii Revised Statute 453-1.3 to eliminate unnecessary policy barriers for more widespread use of telehealth is our priority.

Kaiser Permanente in Hawaii impact 

Through our care, hospital, medical buildings, community investment, and market-leading compensation, we are a major contributor to the state. This includes: 

  • More than $76 million in charitable and community health investments, including major efforts to help provide shelter and support for our homeless population
  •  hospital and medical offices
  •  providers and physicians, employees.

Our care

Kaiser Permanente’s model of integrated care and coverage supports total health through coordinated care to provide our members with high-quality care and better outcomes, and is the reason we are among the highest-ranked health plans in the state.

  • Twelve consecutive A grades for hospital safety — Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade (Spring 2020)
  • Hawaii’s only 5-star Medicare plan — Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (2020)
  • Hawaii’s top-rated commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid plans with a 4.5 rating — Medicaid Services (2020) 
  • Recognized for cancer care, stroke care, minimally invasive surgery, and patient experience — Women’s Choice Award® (2020 and 2021)
  • All primary care clinics recognized as Patient-Centered Medical Homes — National Committee for Quality Assurance (2019)