Why Kaiser Permanente
Feel better with Star quality
Medicare health and prescription drug plans are rated for excellence by the independent Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The highest rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
Who created the Medicare Star Quality Ratings?
The Medicare Star Quality Rating System was developed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that administers the Medicare program.* The ratings are updated annually based on ongoing monitoring and analysis.
The Medicare Star Quality Rating System is unique because it's based on more than 40 measures including clinical performance, customer service, and member satisfaction. CMS uses 5 main sources to measure Medicare plans and compile the ratings:
- The HEDIS® (Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set)
- The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) member satisfaction survey
- Surveys of members' health status
- Information from members' complaints and appeals
- Medicare's own monitoring activities
Why these ratings are so important:
The Medicare Star Quality Ratings are a simple, authoritative starting point and may be the single most important criterion you can use to tackle the challenge of comparing Medicare health plans in your area.
How the Medicare Star Quality Rating System works
A simple, objective way to compare Medicare health plans in your area.
It gives Medicare beneficiaries an independent way to compare Medicare health and prescription drug plans on overall quality and service—and determine the highest quality plans in their area.
Here's how it works:
Each Medicare health plan is assigned an overall rating from 5 stars to 1 star, based on the plan’s performance in more than 40 specific areas across 9 general categories. The ratings are updated annually based on ongoing monitoring and analysis. However, some plans may be too new or not have enough data to be rated.
Here's what the number of stars represents:
5 Excellent performance
4 Above average performance
3 Average performance
2 Below average performance
1 Poor performance
What exactly is rated for each Medicare health plan?
The ratings system analyzes Medicare health plan performance across more than 40 distinct areas. Each area is assessed individually and assigned a star quality rating to reflect that assessment. The highest rating is 5 stars for excellent performance. The lowest rating is 1 star for poor performance.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services measures how well health and prescription drug plans perform on more than 40 items, which are grouped into different categories:
Medicare health plans are rated on how well they perform in five different categories:
- Stay healthy: screenings, tests, and vaccines
- Managing chronic (long-term) conditions
- Member experience with the health plan
- Member complaints, problems getting services, and improvement in the health plan's performance
- Health plan customer service
Medicare drug plans are rated on how well they perform in four different categories:
- Drug plan customer service
- Member complaints, problems getting services, and improvement in the drug plan's performance
- Member experience with drug plan
- Patient safety and accuracy of drug pricing
Learn more about the ratings at the Medicare web site†.
Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system. Star Ratings are calculated each year and may change from one year to the next. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Health Plan Management System, Plan Ratings 2015. Kaiser Permanente contract #H0524, #H0630, #H1170, #H1230, #H2150, #H9003.
*A branch of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
Your doctor? Your decision.
We have an extensive network of doctors to choose from. All of our available physicians accept Medicare health plan members.
Choosing the right doctor is an important decision. But don’t worry — if you change your mind, for any reason, you can switch to a new Kaiser Permanente doctor at any time.
To help you determine which doctor is right for you, our online physician directory provides information on our doctors, including education, background, credentials, specialties, profile photos, and more.
Browse our online directories and see how simple it is to find a doctor or a medical facility in your area.
Access to a full range of specialists
When you need to see a specialist, you’ll get access. Your primary doctor will work together with any of our specialists you see to coordinate your treatment.
Manage your health online anytime, anywhere — with My health manager
We believe your health information should be available to you anytime, for any reason. With My health manager you can email your doctor's office, view most test results as soon as they're available, schedule or change routine appointments, refill most prescriptions, and more* — all from your computer or mobile device. Get a guided tour of My health manager.
A single plan gives you what you need
Kaiser Permanente stands apart from other Medicare health plans by providing coordinated care as well as coverage. Our doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and X-ray and lab technicians all work together for you and are usually in one location.
When you choose a Kaiser Permanente Medicare health plan, you'll get hospital, medical, and preventive care services. Many of our plans also include prescription drug coverage.
You're covered when you travel
Wherever you go as a Kaiser Permanente Medicare health plan member, you're covered worldwide for emergency or urgent care from any medical provider.
*Some online services are not available in all regions.
**When receiving care at a Kaiser Permanente facility.
A personal connection
Our medical professionals are dedicated to providing you with compassionate, personalized care. And you'll have peace of mind knowing everyone on your medical team — including you — has instant and secure access to your most up-to-date health information with our comprehensive electronic medical record system.
To help you stay well, we offer many preventive services -- like mammograms, flu shots, cholesterol screenings, and an Annual Wellness Visit -- at no additional cost. We'll help you manage ongoing health conditions to keep you feeling your best.
Focused on your well-being
We have a variety of programs including health education and fitness classes to help you get and stay healthy. (Some classes may require a fee.)
We've got the experience
Kaiser Permanente has participated in the Medicare program since its inception in 1965, and has a long history of providing personalized, high-quality care and service to its members.
Today we provide Medicare health plan coverage to more than 1.2 million members program wide.
Benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, provider network, premium and/or copayments/coinsurance may change on January 1 of each year, and for group members, at other times in accord with your group’s contract with us. The benefit information provided is a brief summary, not a complete description of benefits. For more information contact the plan. Limitations, copayment, and restrictions may apply.
A leader in health care
Our care and services have won praise from consumer watchdogs and other groups that monitor or regulate the health care industry. Choose Kaiser Permanente and get an affordable Medicare health plan with convenient services, your choice of available Kaiser Permanente doctors, and high marks for quality.
Medicare Star Quality Ratings
Our Medicare health plans for 2015 received the highest possible rating, 5 out of 5 stars, in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and Washington D.C., and 4.5 out of 5 stars in Georgia.1 The star ratings are issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which ranks Medicare health plans in categories that include preventive care, prescription drug services, and member satisfaction.
Why it's important for you:
You get a plan that consistently delivers high quality care and great service to its Medicare members. Across the nation only 11 Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans received 5 stars — and 5 of those were from Kaiser Permanente.1
U.S. News: Best Hospitals in America
In its 2014–15 review of 5,000 U.S. hospitals, U.S. News & World Report ranked 17 Kaiser Permanente medical centers† as "high performing" in several specialties requiring "unusually skilled inpatient care." Our Los Angeles Medical Center ranked in the top 50 nationwide for cardiology, heart surgery, and geriatrics.2
High-performing hospitals in the U.S. News rankings excel in:
Why it's important for you:
Kaiser Permanente Medical Centers and hospitals share information and best practices with each other. You'll have peace of mind knowing that you're getting high-quality care and the benefit of our collective expertise.
NCQA Medicare Health Insurance Plan Rankings
For the fourth year in a row, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) ranked all Kaiser Permanente Medicare health plans in its Top 10 nationwide, and we topped the list in every state we serve. NCQA assessed the quality of more than 400 plans for 2015.
The independent NCQA rates health plans based on customer service, prevention, and treatment, and it has ranked Kaiser Permanente Medicare health plans among the nation's best — above the 97th percentile.3
Why it's important for you:
You'll feel secure knowing you're getting outstanding health care. Our doctors, nurses, and staff all work together to give you high-quality care that shines on a national level.
Our high customer service rating reflects our commitment to treating you well, whether you come in for a visit or call us. We know that giving you great care starts with giving you great service.
Medicare WebWatch Certification of Excellence Award
Kaiser Permanente's Medicare health plan website — the one you're visiting right now — received the highest overall rating† in 2015 from Medicare WebWatch, and is one of only 10 sites to be recognized as an industry benchmark. MedicareWebWatch certification signifies Medicare plan websites that offer "Excellence in Website Content, Connectivity, Design and Transparency".4
Why it's important for you:
Get easy access to information on Kaiser Permanente Medicare health plans, find answers to questions about eligibility and enrollment, apply for a plan online, and more, all on a website that's easy to use.
Learn more about Kaiser Permanente’s awards and honors at kp.org/quality.
1Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system. Star Ratings are calculated each year and may change from one year to the next. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Health Plan Management System, Plan Ratings 2015. Kaiser Permanente Contract #H0524, #H0630, #H1170, #H1230, #H2150, #H9003.
2U.S. News & World Report is a multi-platform publisher of news and information. U.S. News publishes annual print and e-book versions of its authoritative rankings of Best Hospitals.
3The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. It issues health insurance plan rankings and Quality Compass Health Plan Quality Measures for Commercial and Medicare plans each year. In 2011-2012 NCQA evaluated 403 Medicare health plans. In 2012-2013 NCQA evaluated 465 Medicare health plans. In 2013-2014 NCQA evaluated 405 Medicare health plans. In 2014-2015 NCQA evaluated 408 Medicare health plans.
4The independent research firm rated 168 Medicare health plan websites in 2015 nationwide.
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†Kaiser Permanente is not responsible for the content or policies of external Internet sites.
To learn more about Kaiser Permanente Medicare health plans and services,
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