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BY LORI ABE – HONOLULU, HAWAII – Kaiser Permanente Hawaii today announced that it has again received an Excellent Accreditation status from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for service and clinical quality that meet or exceed NCQA’s rigorous requirements for consumer protection and quality improvement.

The Excellent Accreditation status for Kaiser Permanente Hawaii means that all of its eligible health plans – commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid – are accredited with NCQA’s highest quality rating. Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has been accredited as Excellent since NCQA first established this accreditation status in 1999 and was the first health care organization in Hawaii to be accredited by NCQA in 1995.

“NCQA’s Excellent Accreditation status is reserved for the best health plans in the nation,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “It is only awarded to those plans that meet or exceed NCQA’s rigorous requirements for consumer protection and quality improvement and deliver excellent clinical care. It is partly a health plan’s members that determine whether it earns NCQA’s Excellent Accreditation status. Any plan that does so should be proud of its accomplishment. It is a sign that the plan’s delivering great service and great care – it’s met the toughest test in managed care.”

NCQA Health Plan Accreditation surveys include rigorous on-site and off-site evaluations of over 60 standards and selected HEDIS (Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set) measures. A team of physicians and health plan experts conducts accreditation surveys. A national oversight committee of physicians analyzes the team’s findings and assigns an accreditation level based on the performance level of each plan being evaluated to NCQA’s standards.

“Achieving an accreditation status of Excellent from NCQA demonstrates our commitment to providing our members with the highest quality care,” said Kaiser Permanente Hawaii President Janet Liang. “NCQA Accreditation provides purchasers and consumers with an unprecedented ability to evaluate the quality of different health plans along a variety of important dimensions, and to make their health plan decisions based on demonstrated value rather than simply on cost.”

NCQA Accreditation not only involves a rigorous review of a health plan’s consumer protection and quality improvement systems, but also requires health plans to submit audited data on key clinical and service measures (e.g., mammography screening rates; advising smokers to quite; consumer satisfaction). The standards are purposely set high to encourage health plans to continuously enhance their quality. No comparable evaluation exists for fee-for-service health care.

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has provided total health to the people of Hawaii for more than 50 years. Care for members is focused on their total health being guided by their personal physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers.  Expert care and medical teams are 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. Its physicians are members of the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group, the largest and most experienced multi-specialty physician group practice in the state of Hawaii. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health. Visit kp.org for additional information.

SUBMITTED BY LORI ABE, MCNEIL WILSON COMMUNICATIONS

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