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Kaiser Permanente, Term Paper Example

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Term Paper

The managed health care system was first formed in 1933 at Eagle Mountain in Desert Center, California.  The President at the time, Garfield, opened a hospital there in order to serve the construction workers who were constructing the Los Angeles Aqueduct in the Mojave Desert.  The purpose of the hospital was to treat patients regardless of whether they could pay or not.  It was therefore proposed by a man named Harold Hatch to pay the hospital a set amount in advance for each worker who was covered.  This idea was successful, which prompted President Garfield to surmise preventative health care. In addition, Henry Kaiser liked the idea as well and opened a health plan for workers and families working in the shipyards in Richmond, California, Washington, and Fontana, California.  By 1945, Kaiser plans were available to the public.  By the year 1976, there were three million members and in 1977, Kaiser developed six regions which became qualified HMO plans.

What exactly is Kaiser Permanente? Kaiser Permanente is a health care organization that provides services to its members through a combined program.  Basically, the health plan, hospitals and medical groups all work together to provide the members with the best care possible.  This type of integrated program differs from other health care programs in that the program provides access to all types of services needed, whether routine check-ups with the primary care physician, hospital care, emergency care, urgent care, laboratory exams, pharmaceutical services, as well as other services described in the specific health care plan for each member.If choosing to be a member of Kaiser Permanente, the individual must select the providers within their plan in order to receive coverage.  Kaiser offers providers within the individuals Home Region Service Area.  In addition, for individuals who are not sure what kind of care they need, there are licensed health care staffthat are available to assist all members 24 hours per day and seven days a week.  (Calpers, 2013)

Kaiser Permanente also has an international business, which is a non-profit and self-supporting subsidiary to Kaiser Permanente.  In fact, Kaiser Permanente International is known as the leading non-profit health care provider.  In addition, Kaiser has put forth programs in which the company offers their knowledge and experience to governments, other health care providers, as well as health plans and other organizations.  (Kaiser Permanente, 2013)

Kaiser Permanente is also up-to-date with current medical information technology.  Kaiser utilizes Electronic Medical Records (EMR), Clinical Decision Support (CDS), and Personal Health Records (PHR), as well as patient systems and health record exchange systems.  In addition, Kaiser has implemented clinical information systems for laboratory, radiology, pharmacology, and clinical analysis departments, as well as implemented biomedical devices that connect to mobile devices, hospitals, ambulances, and medical equipment.   Most importantly, Kaiser has ensured that information technology is up-to-date in order to report public health, immunization records and disease registries.  (Ferguson, 2008)

My interest in Kaiser Permanente was caught in conducting research in regard to the new Obama care bill that was passed.  I began researching health plans in order to see which plan would benefit myself the most and I started to read about the history of managed health care plans.  During my research, I found that the founders of Kaiser, as well as its successors had a passion to help people.  This is noted in the willingness to develop a health care plan for employees in the 1930s and 1940s.  It was not a law at the time; however, the benefits of serving and helping the employees were seen by the founder, Henry Kaiser.  In addition, I also was interested to find out that the CEO of Kaiser during the Nixon campaign was responsible for pushing the HMO Act of 1973 through with a famous quote, “the less Kaiser does for patients the more money it makes”.  This quote persuaded President Nixon to pass the HMO Act of 1973.  (Kaiser Permanente Thrive Exposed, 2013)  In addition, I was impressed with the nonprofit organization and social commitment that Kaiser offers.  The health care system is currently under a lot of stress within the political parties and finding a company that offers good rates, low copays and community awareness is something that I am looking for in health care.   Furthermore, researching this company has spiked interest to look for positions in healthcare with Kaiser Permanente.

References

CalPers. (2013). Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Combined Evidence of Coverage and Disclosure Form for the Basic Plan Effective January 1, 2013. Retrieved from: http://www.calpers.ca.gov/eip-docs/about/pubs/member/2013-kaiser-permanent.pdf

Ferguson, J. (2008). Kaiser Permanente Comments on Health Information Technology, Kaiser Permanente.  FTC Public Workshop: Innovations in Health Care Delivery. Retrieved from: http://www.ftc.gov/bc/healthcare/hcd/docs/ferguson.pdf

Kaiser Permanente. (2013a). About Kaiser Permanente International. Retrieved from: http://xnet.kp.org/kpinternational/docs/About%20Kaiser%20Permanente%20International.pdf

Kaiser Permanente Thrive Exposed. (2013b). History of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program. Retrieved from: http://www.kaiserthrive.org/kaiser-permanente-history/

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