Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 11:57 EDT

Kaiser Permanente Announces Plans to Offer High-Quality Affordable Health Care and Coverage in Northern Colorado

December 13, 2011

DENVER, Dec. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Kaiser Permanente Colorado, the state’s largest non-profit health plan, today announced plans to offer health care services for the first time in Northern Colorado by late 2012. The health plan has filed for approval with the state Division of Insurance, to expand into Northern Colorado with new Kaiser Permanente medical offices in Loveland, Fort Collins and Greeley, a contracted network of community providers, and an exclusive hospital agreement with Banner Health hospitals and physicians.

Kaiser Permanente and Banner Health both share a commitment to high quality care, service and affordability, and this agreement will offer Northern Colorado residents a new option for top quality care and health plan coverage close to home. Both organizations are leaders in care coordination and health information technology and will work collaboratively to utilize their tools to coordinate patient care. This will allow for enhanced prevention and wellness services, as well as an array of tools members can use to take a proactive role in their health care.

“We heard from many members and employer groups who wanted us to have a presence in Northern Colorado and we listened,” said Donna Lynne, DrPH, Kaiser Permanente Colorado President. “We’re pleased to have a partner like Banner Health who, like Kaiser Permanente, is focused on increasing access to high-quality, affordable health care. We believe Northern Colorado residents will find great value in the innovative, highly coordinated patient experience we plan to provide.”

“This partnership will provide Northern Colorado residents with outstanding health care options in Banner Health hospitals as well as increased access to other medical services close to home,” said Banner Health President and CEO Peter S. Fine. “Kaiser Permanente and Banner Health share a commitment to providing highly coordinated health care that is personalized, convenient and of the highest quality. This collaboration is a win-win for everyone in the region.”

Kaiser Permanente consistently ranks among the top health plans in the nation for quality and customer satisfaction. Earlier this year, the National Committee for Quality Assurance ranked Kaiser Permanente as the top health plan in Colorado and No. 6 of 400 commercial health plans in the nation. NCQA also ranked Kaiser Permanente Colorado’s Medicare plan No. 3 out of 341 plans, and the U.S. Health and Human Service’s Medicare agency, CMS, recently awarded Kaiser Permanente 5 Stars, the highest possible rating for a Medicare Plan. Kaiser Permanente is the only health plan in Colorado, and one of only nine plans in the nation, to receive this elite distinction.

Banner Health operates four hospitals in Northern Colorado as well as numerous health centers and clinics. Both North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley and McKee Medical Center in Loveland are nationally recognized for their quality of patient care, including each being recognized by HealthGrades as being among the top five percent of hospitals in the nation for Emergency Medicine and for overall Distinguished Hospital care.

Currently, more than 6,000 Kaiser Permanente members live in Northern Colorado, accessing care in the health plan’s Denver-Boulder service area. This expansion will allow Kaiser Permanente to better serve current and future Northern Colorado members with top notch care delivered in the communities where they live.

Detailed planning has begun for new Kaiser Permanente medical office buildings in Fort Collins and Loveland by late 2012 and Greeley by 2014. Each Kaiser Permanente medical office will offer primary care, pharmacy, laboratory and X-ray services under one roof. All Northern Colorado Kaiser Permanente members will have access to specialists from a preferred provider network made up of Banner physicians and other specialty providers in the community. Members may also choose to see a primary care physician in the Banner Health network. Hospital care will be provided at Banner Health’s McKee Medical Center in Loveland and North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley.

Kaiser Permanente commercial insurance will be available to employers in Northern Colorado in late 2012 and Individual and Family coverage will be added in 2013. In addition, Kaiser Permanente intends to offer Medicare Advantage Plans, pending approval by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Employers or individuals interested in learning more about Kaiser Permanente health plans should contact: 303-306-2727 (Press Option 2).

Kaiser Permanente’s expansion is also expected to have long-lasting positive benefits for businesses and the community at large. It is anticipated the expansion will provide a healthy boost of new jobs to the local economy. While specific estimates are still under way, Kaiser Permanente’s new presence on the ground in Northern Colorado may create as many as 100 jobs in the next few years.

Kaiser Permanente and Banner Health both share a non-profit mission and are committed to improving community health. Since 2007, Kaiser Permanente has contributed more than $1 million in grants to Northern Colorado communities and that amount will increase in the months and years to come.

About Kaiser Permanente Colorado

Kaiser Permanente Colorado is the state’s largest non-profit health plan, proudly working to improve the lives and health of Colorado residents for more than 40 years. Kaiser Permanente Colorado provides comprehensive health care services to more than 533,000 members through 24 medical offices and a network of affiliated hospitals and physicians. The health plan was named “Highest in Member Satisfaction” among Commercial Health Plans by J.D. Power and Associates for the fourth straight year. Kaiser Permanente was also recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance as the top-ranked private health plan in Colorado, No. 6 in the nation and one of the top 3 Medicare plans in the U.S. for the third year in a row. In 2010, Kaiser Permanente proudly directed more than $90 million to community benefit programs to improve the health of all Coloradans. For more Kaiser Permanente news, visit kp.org/newscenter or follow us on twitter @kpcolorado or facebook.com/kpcolorado.

About Banner Health

Banner Health is a non-profit health system which operates 23 hospitals, as well as other specialized facilities, in seven western states. This includes four hospitals in northern Colorado. The health system is one of the largest employers in the state of Colorado, as well. In addition to Colorado, Banner operates in a number of other states including Arizona, Nebraska, Wyoming, Nevada, California and Alaska. Across the entire enterprise, Banner Health employs over 36,000 employees. The organization provides emergency care, hospital care, ambulatory care which includes Banner Health Centers and Clinics staffed Banner Medical Group physicians, hospice, long-term/home care, outpatient surgery centers, labs, and rehabilitation services. http://www.bannerhealth.com.

SOURCE Kaiser Permanente Colorado

Source: PR Newswire