Kaiser Permanente Medicare plans earn top ratings

(October 31, 2018—Rockville, Md.) Maryland Chamber member Kaiser Permanente received the highest possible rating of 5 out of 5 stars from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for quality and service for 2019. This marks the seventh year in a row the organization has received the top rating for its Medicare plans offered in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Nationwide, only 14 Medicare plans rated received the highest ratings from CMS, and Kaiser Permanente offers two of these plans to enrollees in the Mid-Atlantic states.

Typically, Medicare enrollees may only switch plans during the Annual Enrollment Period, October 1 through December 7. However, what many people don’t know is that CMS also allows enrollees to switch to a 5 star-rated plan during a special enrollment period lasting from December 8 through September 30, so they are not locked into a choice made during AEP. This recent rating means that residents in Maryland, can enroll in Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States’ Medicare health plans year-around, making care more accessible.

“Our more than 1,500 Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group physicians work together to provide reliably excellent care, year after year,” said Bernadette Loftus, MD, associate executive director, The Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group. “Our physicians are constantly learning from each other to collaboratively develop innovative tools and approaches to provide the best care in the nation. We are thrilled that CMS has again recognized the exceptional clinical excellence that Permanente Medicine offers our patients.”

CMS created the Medicare star quality rating system to provide beneficiaries with a way to assess Medicare plans based on quality of care and service delivery, so they can make an informed decision when choosing a plan. CMS uses the star ratings system to rank Medicare health plans on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, with 5 stars representing the highest quality.

The overall scores for Medicare quality stars take into consideration several care and service quality measures (Parts C and D) across nine categories, including staying healthy, member satisfaction, managing chronic conditions, customer service and pharmacy services. The star ratings also measure health plans’ compliance performance.

“From the moment our Medicare members choose Kaiser Permanente for their care and coverage, we make a promise–a promise to provide an exceptional, completely coordinated care experience where and when they need it,” said Kim Horn, president of Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic. “This recognition is the result of consistent effort to keep that promise and we are proud to receive it for the seventh consecutive year.”

Medicare beneficiaries can learn more about the star ratings and Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare health plans by visiting kp.org/medicarestars.

This announcement comes on the heels of Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States’ Medicare plans in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, receiving the highest possible rating of 5 out of 5 from the National Committee for Quality Assurance. According to the NCQA’s Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2018-19 national report, Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States’ offerings are among the top 1 percent of plans in the nation as evaluated by NCQA’s rigorous review process. Plans include Kaiser Permanente’s Private, Medicare and Medicaid plans and point to all enrollees having access to some of the highest rated plans nationwide.

With more than 1,500 primary and specialty care physicians available to them, Kaiser Permanente members have access to one of the largest medical groups in the region.

To increase access to the organization’s top-rated care and coverage, Kaiser Permanente announced plans to open a new state-of-the-art medical center in Prince George’s County, Maryland, in 2020 and three new medical centers are planned to open in Northern Virginia in 2019, which will be in Alexandria, Stafford and Haymarket.

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