Kaiser Permanente Southern California Earns National Multicultural Health Care Distinction

Receives High Marks from National Committee for Quality Assurance

PASADENA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has recognized Kaiser Permanente Southern California with its inaugural Multicultural Health Care Distinction, the only commercial and Medicare plan in Southern California to receive this certification. NCQA created the new program to recognize health organizations for their ability to address the health care needs of minority populations through the use of evidence-based requirements.

Specifically, the distinction is awarded to health care groups that earned 70 or more points (out of 100) in the following five categories: Race/Ethnicity and Language Data; Access and Availability of Language Services; Practitioner Network Cultural Responsiveness; Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services Programs; and Reducing Health Care Disparities. The Southern California Region earned a total of 98.25 points.

“Cultural competency is crucial to providing high quality health care,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “Organizations achieving Multicultural Health Care Distinction are leaders in closing the ethnic and racial disparities gap, and NCQA commends them for their dedication.”

"NCQA’s work elevates the outcomes of the U.S. health care system by constantly measuring, analyzing, and promoting higher performance standards in quality and service,” said Patti Harvey, senior vice president, Quality and Risk Management, Patient Care Services, and Clinical Operation Support for Kaiser Permanente Southern California.

“We are delighted to receive recognition for our culturally responsive and linguistically appropriate programs,” Harvey added. “We are proud of the benefits these initiatives provide to our members and patients and the positive impact that is being made on reducing health care disparities.”

In 2006 and 2009, Kaiser Permanente Southern California earned the NCQA’s Recognizing Innovations in Multicultural Health Care awards for its Qualified Bilingual Services model, health care interpreter certificate program, and primary care language concordance program.

Nationwide, Kaiser Permanente’s Georgia Region also earned the distinction, along with five other health plans, including AmeriHealth Mercy of Philadelphia; Health Partners of Philadelphia; Keystone Health Plan West of Pittsburgh, a subsidiary of Highmark Inc.; Keystone Mercy Health Plan of Pennsylvania; and SelectHealth of South Carolina.

About Kaiser Permanente Southern California: Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 3.4 million members in Southern California. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal 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. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.

About NCQA: The NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations and manages the evolution of HEDIS®, the performance tool used by more than 90 percent of the nation’s health plans. Consumers can easily access organization’s NCQA Accreditation, Certification statuses and Recognition statuses and other information on health care quality on NCQA’s website at www.ncqa.org/reportcards.aspx, or by calling NCQA Customer Support at (888) 275-7585.



CONTACT:

Kaiser Permanente
Southern California Region
Socorro Serrano
Office: 626-405-3004
Mobile: 323-627-5595

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  California

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