Our accomplishments reflect the resilience and expertise of our employees and physicians, and the strength our integrated model.
The past 2 years have been unparalleled in the history of our organization, our industry, our country, and the world. In 2021, Kaiser Permanente continued to navigate through the pandemic with 3 major surges of COVID-19. We endured incredible loss but also gained renewed hope as the newly approved vaccines promised an ability to save lives.
In 2021, we administered more than 10.5 million vaccine doses, including boosters, to members and nonmembers alike and conducted 9.4 million COVID-19 diagnostic tests. We also invested over $71 million in more than 200 community-based organizations to help address misinformation, support social needs, remove barriers to vaccine access, and deploy grassroots strategies to increase COVID-19 vaccinations.
In the last 2 years, our mission — to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve — has never rung truer. Our number one priority continues to be ensuring the health and safety of our more than 12 million members, and that of our employees, physicians, members, and the communities we serve.
Kaiser Permanente’s caregivers, including our physicians and nurses, whose own lives have been upended by the pandemic, continued to demonstrate incredible resilience, commitment, and resolve to care for our members, patients, communities, and each other. During 2021 we cared for more than 800,000 patients with COVID-19, including inpatient care for more than 60,000 patients.
A disproportionate number of people impacted by COVID-19 were from marginalized communities, as the pandemic further exposed the deep-seated health inequities that have existed in health care. Kaiser Permanente is continuing to address health equity and the social issues we face.
In 2021, we began to examine health outcomes and other quality metrics by race, ethnicity, and other social drivers, to better identify and help eliminate disparities and inequities. When our data indicates a disparity in care or outcomes, we will create a comprehensive plan to address and reduce that disparity, which may include evolving our clinical practices or expanding educational resources for our members or workforce.
We also continued our work and partnerships in 2021 to help address the economic, social, and environmental conditions that are important drivers of every community’s overall health. In 2021, as part of our Thrive Local program, we added online resources and a dedicated phone line to help members connect with basic essentials like healthy meals and transportation, and critical services such as paying utility bills. We also launched our Virtual Care Innovation Network to bring together safety net organizations to redesign care so virtual models continue to thrive and improve access, after the pandemic abates.
To drive economic stability within our underrepresented communities, we engaged with groups like the National Association for Latino Community Asset Building, Prosperity Now, and the Alliance of African American CDFI CEOs to fund and connect more than 18,000 diverse entrepreneurs with capital and technical training. Kaiser Permanente’s Thriving Communities Fund invested $50 million in the SDS Supportive Housing Fund to help fight homelessness, producing or preserving over 7,000 units of affordable housing across the country.
Our Food for Life initiatives helped 95,000 people apply for SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, through a text-based outreach campaign. And, knowing the health impacts of climate change, we built on our carbon neutral status achieved in 2020 by joining the National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Decarbonizing the U.S.
We continued to offer expanded virtual care, from preventive care to advanced treatment of complicated and chronic health conditions. As part of this effort, we are working to address digital inequities: Currently 83.6% of our members have digital access. In 2021, Kaiser Permanente provided approximately 28.8 million scheduled phone and video visits and more than 44.6 million in-person ambulatory care visits. Our teams also adjusted resources and services to help meet the increased mail-order pharmacy demand, filling an average of 116,000 prescriptions by mail each day.
While responding to the pandemic, we also added social health screening and an improved digital and pharmacy experience, and created 24/7 virtual care in some of our regions. Over 10,000 members weekly have used this virtual care option since it launched in 2021.
By making the most of our integrated model and our advanced technology tools and services, we are able to help deliver high-quality care with increased speed, focus, and impact — while still prioritizing human connection and exceptional experiences.
As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, we will continue to help support and protect our most critical resource: our people. We are extremely grateful to our entire workforce, whose commitment to providing care and service throughout the pandemic has been nothing short of inspiring.
We are also proud of the relationship we have with our unions that support and represent our employees, including through one of the nation’s longest-standing labor-management partnerships.
Kaiser Permanente’s work relies on our ability to create an inclusive environment as a multicultural organization where 69% of our employees are members of underrepresented and marginalized groups and 73% are women. We strive to have a workforce that reflects the rich diversity of our members and communities, understands their needs and preferences, and delivers culturally responsive care and services.
Kaiser Permanente’s mission has guided our organization for more than 75 years, through good times and challenging times. Our accomplishments reflect the strength of our employees and physicians and our integrated model, which has helped us respond to the pandemic, and address health inequities and social issues including the impacts of climate change. The interconnectedness and interdependence of the hospitals, health plan, and medical groups that make up Kaiser Permanente have advanced our efforts to operate seamlessly as an enterprise.
Together, we move forward with a shared calling and purpose, because together we are Kaiser Permanente.