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Pursuit of High Quality Care Recognized by PBGH

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Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Nine Medical Groups Given Blue Ribbon Awards

San Francisco, CA, September 14, 2000 – The Pacific Business Group on Health (PBGH) announced yesterday that Kaiser Foundation Health Plan has been awarded the organization's coveted 2001 HMO Blue Ribbon Award. Nine California medical groups also received Blue Ribbon Awards for their work at the provider-level. Statewide, more than 200 medical groups and independent practice associations (IPAs) were evaluated, along with 20 health plans.

The PBGH Blue Ribbon Awards recognize leadership and excellence in four major areas: quality, data, partnering and cost. Organizations are evaluated against a broad set of criteria including: Consumer reported care and service; clinical process and outcomes measures; relative cost; use of electronic health information; and willingness to collaborate with other industry stakeholders on quality and data reporting initiatives.

"PBGH's Blue Ribbon Awards serve to recognize and reward organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to the efficient delivery of high quality health care," said Peter Lee, President & CEO of PBGH. Lee added, "More than simply announcing the awards, we make the information actionable by encouraging our employer members to make the Blue Ribbon health plan available to their employees, retirees and families. And, health plans are asked to include all provider awardees in their plan contracts." The information is also widely publicized through HealthScope, a PBGH Web site and written guide to help consumers select health plans, medical groups and hospitals.

This year, PBGH awarded the Blue Ribbon in the HMO category to Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, a nonprofit health maintenance organization serving 5.8 million Californians. Kaiser scored highest among all plans on the Blue Ribbon quality and data measures, as well as highest in the state on the Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set (HEDIS)—national, standardized clinical effectiveness measures. "These results demonstrate Kaiser's commitment to using information systems to improve clinical health care quality," asserted Paul Fearer, PBGH Chairman and Executive Vice President at Union Bank of California. "Data is essential to advancing value based purchasing objectives. To improve quality requires the collection and public reporting of data to guide purchasers and consumers in making effective health care decisions," said Fearer.

PBGH also announced the 2001 Medical Group Blue Ribbon Awards. Nine medical groups were recognized for their exemplary performance. Again, the broad criteria of quality, data, cost and partnering were applied, although weighted differently than for health plans. Among the factors considered were results from the Physician Value Check Survey, the first large-scale survey of patients enrolled in medical groups. The survey assesses the performance of physician groups, specifically access to care (primary and specialty), preventive and chronic disease care, satisfaction and patient functioning. It also tracks performance over time, looking at how well groups managed their patient populations over a two-year period. The information is publicly reported.

Most medical groups were also recognized for specific quality innovation projects, which ranged from promoting less invasive alternatives to hysterectomies, to early detection of kidney disease in diabetics, to an automatic prescription reminder developed to improve compliance in treatment for high cholesterol.

Blue Ribbon Award Winners in the Medical Group Category
Brown and Toland Medical Group
Hill Physicians Medical Group
The Permanente Medical Group
Santa Clara County IPA
Bristol Park Medical Group
HealthCare Partners Medical Group
Sharp Community Medical Group
Sharp-Rees Steely Medical Group
Southern California Permanente Medical Group

PBGH is a nonprofit business coalition comprised of 45 large private and public purchasers. Together, PBGH members spend $3.5 billion annually to provide health coverage to the nearly three million employees, retirees and their families. Last year PBGH assumed responsibility from the State of California for the Health Insurance Plan of California (HIPC). Now operating as PacAdvantage, this small group purchasing pool provides health insurance to more than 9,500 small businesses in California.

Clark Miller
Senior Communications Manager
Pacific Business Group on Health
Telephone: (415) 615–6302
E–mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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Lisa Zamosky
Chief Communications Officer 

Email: lzamosky@pbgh.org
Phone: 415.615.6310