youtu.be

Kaiser Permanente Named First CMS Health Equity Award Recipient

Kaiser Permanente (No. 2 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) the nation’s largest integrated health system, has received the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ inaugural Health Equity Award, which recognizes Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to reducing and eliminating disparities in health care quality and access for its members receiving Medicare benefits.


Kaiser Permanente’s longstanding commitment to equitable care has helped it become an industry leader in developing and implementing best practices, approaches and evidence-based medicine aimed at improving health equity outcomes. With this award, CMS has specifically recognized Kaiser Permanente’s Hypertension Program Improvement Process, which has significantly reduced disparities in blood pressure control rates across racial and ethnic groups, including among African-American Medicare members ages 18 to 85.

“Kaiser Permanente’s physicians are dedicated to delivering high-quality, culturally responsive and affordable care to every one of our patients. Eliminating disparities is complex and requires reliable systems of care that support our interdisciplinary teams,” said Michael Kanter, MD, executive vice president of Quality and chief quality officer, The Permanente Federation. “From 2009 to 2017, the percentage of Kaiser Permanente’s African-American Medicare members with controlled hypertension increased from 75.3 percent to 89.6 percent, a huge increase that has improved the quality of life and even saved the lives of thousands of people.”

Key elements of the organization’s approach included collecting and stratifying data to identify and prioritize health outcome disparities, upgrading clinical practice guidelines, and expanding educational resources available to Kaiser Permanente members. Strong community partnerships play an important role in bringing care directly to communities in need, including offering blood pressure checks at beauty salons and barbershops.

“Equity is not just a word we use to describe our ideals; it is the backbone of our work and woven into every strategy and tactic we deploy to provide personal and inclusive care to all of our members, and to spread those best practices across our organization so members can receive the same quality care no matter when, where or how they receive our services,” said Patrick Courneya, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals.

As one of the nation’s first health care providers to racially integrate its hospitals and waiting rooms, as well as hire a diverse workforce, non-profit Kaiser Permanente has seven decades of experience promoting diversity, inclusion and health equity. In 2017, Kaiser Permanente received the American Hospital Association’s Equity of Care Award, a recognition that highlighted the organization’s use of data-driven initiatives and electronic health record to target health disparities.

Learn about career opportunities at Kaiser Permanente

Latest News

woke politics

Republicans Launch a War on ‘Woke’ Politics in Hopes of Big Legislative Wins in 2022

In 2020, former President Barack Obama warned that the phrase “Defund the Police” could become a dangerous rallying cry for the conservative right. But now, Republicans have apparently taken that warning one step further, declaring war on all things “woke.” Allan Smith and Sahil Kapur of NBC News wrote that…

women in politics

Women Remain Vastly Underrepresented in Local Government, Despite Conventional Wisdom Suggesting Otherwise

Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sat behind President Biden during his first speech to a joint session of Congress on April 28 — representing the first time two women held such important and high-ranking political offices. Even after such a historic moment, the reality…

voter restriction

Florida Follows Georgia’s Lead, Approves Racist Anti-Voter Restrictions Aimed Primarily at Democrats and People of Color

Not content with letting Georgia be the only state in the South demonized for its bigoted and racist attacks on voter rights, Florida has jumped into the fray in issuing its own series of new and highly controversial “Jim Crow-esque” anti-voting restrictions aimed specifically at disenfranchising Democrats and voters of…

Kentucky Derby

Inspired by Protests Over Breonna Taylor’s Death, Humana and Kentucky Derby Festival Launch Diversity and Inclusion Initiative in Louisville

Ahead of the 147th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 1, Kentucky Derby officials and Humana (No. 25 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020) have announced a new equity initiative meant to make the race more accessible and welcoming to everyone, regardless of race, gender, age…

crimes against human ity

‘Crime Against Humanity’; Global Report Says the US Should Be Prosecuted in International Criminal Court for Ongoing Police Murders of Black Americans

In what has been described as a “devastating” report, human rights experts and lawyers have investigated and released a 188-page analysis of the ongoing police brutality and killing of Black Americans in the U.S. Their verdict: the country is guilty of “crimes against humanity” and should be prosecuted for its…

Tokyo, Olympics

Tokyo Olympics to Encourage Significant Increase in Gender Equality Among Event’s Corporate Sponsors

Besides simply being a showcase for some of the most talented and athletic men and women on the planet, the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics are hoping their event this summer can also help promote significant change in corporate culture, both in Japan and around the globe. Bloomberg’s Ayai Tomisawa…