September 24, 2018

NCQA gives best ratings to Southern California health plans

Plans rated among highest for consumer experience, prevention, and treatment.

PASADENA, Calif. – Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare health plan in Southern California received the highest rating from the National Committee for Quality Assurance, a national group that rates health plans for consumer experience, prevention, and treatment.

In a report published today, NCQA Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2018-19, Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare health plan in Southern California was rated 5 out of 5. Kaiser Permanente’s commercial health plans in Northern and Southern California received a 4.5 rating. There is no commercial plan in California rated higher than Kaiser Permanente.

“These ratings reflect our level of expert specialty care and service to our 4.5 million members in Southern California,” said Julie Miller-Phipps, president, Kaiser Permanente Southern California region. “The measure of this success is attributed to the commitment of Kaiser Permanente’s physicians and care teams who are focused on keeping our members healthy through consistent preventive care and excellent medical treatment.

The national group analyzed over 1,000 health plans in the nation − private, Medicare, Medicaid − for quality and service. Only 14 health plans in the country, or about 1 percent, were rated 5 out of 5. In all, Kaiser Permanente has 9 of those highest rated plans.

NCQA is a national, private not-for-profit organization that surveys health plans for performance in a wide range of clinical service measures. All Kaiser Permanente health plans were rated 4 or higher. For the fourth year in a row, all Kaiser Permanente Medicare health plans were rated highest (or tied for the highest) in the areas they serve. Kaiser Permanente serves more than 12.2 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia.

“I am proud of these results as they shine a light on the work being done by our compassionate and highly skilled physicians, nurses and care teams,” said Michael Kanter, MD, executive vice president and chief quality officer for The Permanente Federation, the national organization for the more than 21,000 physicians who provide care to Kaiser Permanente’s members.

An example of the expert specialty care provided can be heard in the words of a local Southern California member:

“I have a great care team around me. Kaiser Permanente has always been there for me.” Those are the words of Gregory Lee, a 45-year-old former Southern California television personality who nearly died after contracting West Nile virus in 2015.

“They brought me back to life,” said Lee, who developed hydrocephalus (a deadly swelling of the brain), was paralyzed and spent nearly 100 days in intensive care. His courageous attitude – coupled with the expert care he received from Kaiser Permanente infectious disease specialists, cardiologists, neurologists, physical therapy specialists and others – is why today, nearly three years later, he continues to improve and is looking forward to walking his bride-to-be down the aisle.

“Greg basically had to start from scratch and relearn how to eat, talk and walk,” said his fiancée Gina Villasenor.

“Our entire team came together to surround Greg with all the specialty knowledge that was needed to him through,” said Quang M. Dao, MD, an internal medicine hospitalist at Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center. “All those specialists communicating with one another seamlessly depended on our integrated system of care.”

Those sentiments are also at the center of why Kaiser Permanente continues to be rated among the elite health organizations in the nation for treatment, disease prevention and consumer experience in the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2018-2019.

The NCQA’s Health Insurance Plan Ratings are based on combined scores for health plans in Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set®, commonly called HEDIS; the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems®, or CAHPS; and NCQA Accreditation standards scores.

The ratings and methodology are posted on the NCQA’s website at

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 12.2 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. For more information, go to: