Kaiser Permanente: Shaping the Future of Health Care

California WorksThis article is a part of a series of profiles of CalChamber member companies that are contributing to the state’s economic strength and ability to stay competitive in a global economy. Visit California Works to learn more about this series and read past and future profiles.

Kaiser Permanente is recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in California in 1945, Kaiser Permanente’s mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of its members and the communities it serves.

Kaiser Permanente provides care and coverage in a highly integrated system. Doctors, hospitals, and health plan work together with a shared commitment to keeping members healthy and restoring them to health after injury or illness.

Because care teams are all connected to a shared electronic health record system, it’s easy for them to consult each other on important health decisions. Care decisions are made only by Kaiser Permanente members and their physicians, not administrators.

Kaiser Permanente serves 12.5 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers.

In California, the organization serves 9.3 million members through 37 hospitals and 404 medical office buildings, with care and services provided by more than 18,000 physicians and 174,985 employees.

A Pioneer in Value-Based Care

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. For nearly 80 years, Kaiser Permanente’s integrated model has provided value-based care. Value-based care is a health care delivery and financing model that improves health outcomes and increases access to affordable care in the community through evidence-based care, a commitment to equity, and aligned incentives across the system.

The Kaiser Permanente model was designed with value in mind — integrating evidence-based health care and prepaid financing of coverage to coordinate care across all settings and care teams. This leads to a relentless focus on delivering the right care, at the right time, in the right setting to produce high-quality, equitable outcomes.

This care model enables teams to think and work as one, coordinating care seamlessly, and delivering better care when it matters most. Members have access to care from Kaiser Permanente health care professionals in person, by phone, or video 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Kaiser Permanente is working to bring its vision for value-based care to the entire health care industry. Collaborating, connecting, and coming together to own what value-based care brings is something the nation needs to move forward. With collective efforts, the United States can shift toward a system of care that really is focused on health and not just on episodic illness.

Focusing on Prevention and Outcomes

At Kaiser Permanente, expert and caring medical teams are empowered and 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. Population-based care and quality outcomes are deeply embedded in the organization’s systems and processes, allowing for the tracking of measures such as survival rates, mortality, and prevalence of certain diseases.

Healthy Communities and a Healthy Nation

For Kaiser Permanente, improving health is about more than just providing high-quality health care. Good health starts in communities. Good health includes having a safe place to live, nutritious food, enough money to pay the bills, strong social connections, and other essentials.

As one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit, integrated health systems, and as one of the largest employers in California, Kaiser Permanente is uniquely positioned to advance economic opportunity as well as the health and well-being of the people and communities it serves.

Kaiser Permanente continually works to improve the conditions for health and equity by addressing the root causes of health, such as economic opportunity, affordable housing, safe and supportive schools, and a healthy environment. These improvements grow from collaboration with each community to co-design and co-create solutions that truly make a positive impact.

As just one example, Kaiser Permanente created its Thriving Communities Fund in 2018 with a $200 million impact investment with the initial goal of creating and preserving affordable housing units for its communities.

In 2022, Kaiser Permanente expanded its commitment to the Thriving Communities Fund to $400 million, with the goal of creating or preserving 30,000 units of affordable housing before 2030.

In addition, as part of Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to CalAIM through the California Department of Health Care Services’ Housing and Homelessness Incentive Program (HHIP), Kaiser Permanente is making critical investments and forming partnerships to address homelessness and housing insecurity for its Medi-Cal members and the community at large.

Through HHIP, Kaiser Permanente partners with homeless Continuums of Care, Medi-Cal Managed Care Plans, and other key stakeholders to identify investment opportunities that will reduce and prevent homelessness. The organization has made critical investments in programs across five California counties to create a pathway for expanding collaboration and increasing access to housing-related supports for unhoused community residents.

With these and many other efforts, Kaiser Permanente is engaging members, communities, our sizeable workforce, and all the organization’s considerable assets to create communities that are among the healthiest in the nation, and inspiring greater health for America and the world.

The California Chamber of Commerce is the largest, broad-based business advocate to government in California, working at the state and federal levels to influence government actions affecting all California business. As a not-for-profit, we leverage our front-line knowledge of laws and regulations to provide affordable and easy-to-use compliance products and services.