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Local medical groups receive high marks

  • Randy Tachias, left, has his first consultation with diabetes specialist Dr. Ji Chae at Kaiser Hospital in Santa Rosa on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. Kaiser Permanente's HMO in Northern California pulled a four-star excellent rating this year on the health ranking. (Conner Jay/The Press Democrat)

Local doctors’ groups and health insurance plans received favorable scores Tuesday on an annual health care quality report card released by the state Office of the Patient Advocate.

Kaiser Permanente’s HMO in Northern California again pulled a four-star excellent rating this year on the health ranking, which is generated by the state Office of the Patient Advocate, or OPA.

Kaiser also received four stars in the category where patients rate their own HMO.

“We are pleased once again to receive these excellent grades on the OPA report card for our medical centers in Santa Rosa and San Rafael as well as all of Northern California,” said Judy Coffey, senior vice president and area manager of Kaiser Permanente Marin-Sonoma.

“We are always striving to continue to improve, but these scores confirm how well our unique integrated system and top-quality physicians make a difference every day for our patients.”

The rating system grades health insurance plans and medical groups from one to four stars, with one star being a poor rating, two being fair, three designating a good ranking and four being excellent.

Kaiser wasn’t the only local HMO that received good marks. Western Health Advantage, a relative newcomer to the local HMO market, had the most balanced scores for its clinical service and patient satisfaction categories.

The HMO has received three stars for quality preventative care and services to its members and also received three-star member ratings, including an overall score for care and services; for the ease of getting doctor appointments, tests and treatments; and for responding to customer questions about the plan, including its costs and claims payments.

“We’re most proud of how our members experience the health plan,” said Rick Heron, a spokesman for Western Health Advantage. “We’ve always made customer satisfaction a very, very high priority and that’s reflected in the steady three stars across all those member categories.”

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