Matthew Holt

Kaiser Permanente CEO George Halvorson on reform and life after IT

http://vimeo.com/4039344?pg=embed&sec=George Halvorson is the CEO of Kaiser Permanente, and the driving force behind both the HealthConnect EMR implementation and a national player in the health reform debate. I got to talk to him at HIMSS where he’d just finished giving the Monday keynote. We discussed KP HealthConnect, and the impact it’s having internally (good), why KP is making such a high-profile fuss about it (no, they’re not planning on expanding nationally or internationally), what AHIP and the insurers might face in the future (a choice between Canada and Switzerland), whether chronic care management can work without integration (he says yes), and whether the big guys will cast the smaller insurers adrift. You’ll have to watch for that answer.

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  1. I watched Halverson or whatever his name is on the Newshour last Monday. Sorry but what a disgusting distaste person to have as a CEO. Already he allows doctors to loudly declare denial of care. I mean they don’t even care who hears because they area either told to deny care _ one of Kaiser’s favorite cost cutting methods or they feel protected by this very poor choice of a CEO. His public appearances give such a bad impression but perhaps it is good for the public to see how horrible the leader of this providers. Please don’t be fooled Kaiser will cost you more than regular Medicare and more than most other HMOs and very poor care most of the time. If you are old avoid Kaiser forever.

  2. It is documented that the elderly fail faster with Kaiser than Original Medicare. Kaiser plans it this way. As the Kaiser saying goes,”The less care we give them the more money we make”. Kaiser enforced that more today than in 1972 when it was said in the White House Oval Office to Richard Nixon.

  3. Everything about Kaiser is dangerous. I was denied care 2 times in the last 3 months with dire consequences for me. I was so close to getting a serious infection from a hole Kaiser caused in the face but they would do nothing. An ER -Not Kaiser- saved my life. Now Kaiser refuses to take any responsibility to stitch up my cheek. It is not life threatening now but was before the ER. It is their plan _ I am now older so I am a net negative patients. That means I will be denied care most of the time until I either die or leave. I am leaving Kaiser now but I intend to warn as many innocents from joining Kaiser as I can. The pen is mightier than the sword. Remember Kaiser’s philosophy of profiting – The less we give them, the more money we earn- said in the White House Oval Office and inadvertently made public.

  4. Nichohlasde. Kaiser does not let you in on their policies or outcomes so how would you know. Don’t you know the famous (unintentionally? Kaiser business plan. “The less care we give them (patients especailly the elderly)the more money we make. You can google this. It is a quote from how John Ehrlichman explained to President Nixon how Kaiser makes money when Kaiser was desperate to get in on the billions they could profit from Medicare. As a result Kaiser’s profits are in the billions each year. today estimated at $200 billion Yet they deny care more than any other provider and have terrible outcomes for the elderly.

  5. Hi Mr. George
    sometime I don’t know how you are still seating on your chair and let many people insult your company and your people for their worst and rude customer services. and why do you have this page for? to hear for people? try to get better? if this case please made some change.or just let someone else better to do your job.I am sick of your customer services

  6. to whom may concerned
    Hi, My name is Tommy nguyen, My menbership#: 61772014.and my son is 68015959.every month on 21th kaiser withral $171 on my Amercan Express for my son premium. but on oct they took $342.I called for refund back $171 back but I called most everyday for 2 month and talk to 3 managers but they are still not solve the case. the worst is everytime I call I have to waited for long time and customer service end up hang up on me. please excused me for my laungue but they are the most stupid and rude customer secvice i have ever see.I post this hope that you guys can fix this problem. thanks

  7. Mr. Halvorson,
    I was brought up in the Kaiser system and my daughters pediatrician was also mine when I was child. She had been a member from child birth through 25 years of age. She was a full time student with ecomony in trouble. Unable to find work to continue her coverage privately she was dropped. Now she is working under a contract and still has no coverage. She applied online for a individual plan and she was declined. Now I receive advertizements from Kaiser all the time to which I would still be a member if my employer offered it. They talk about how they want to help people be more healthy. They want to help with weight management and stress. Times are really stressful these days. Now I find it rather difficult to understand why my daughter is turned away for a weight problem and depression. I have read your posts on health reform and how important it is to you. You speak of “Big Think”. What has Kaiser come to today when they won’t insure those who need help. I was a member for near 50 years and I’m shocked to see this treatment. Is it just about the money? My wife, step-daughter,daugher and myself spent many years with Kaiser and I am disappointed with what I see. Please feel free to contact me in regards to this post. I was trying to find some way to contact you directly. Hopefully this will come to your attention. I will continue to look for a way to contact you personally. I look forward to hearing from you. I would like to know how a declined application fits into Kaisers future as a medical provider to those in need.
    James Carpenter

  8. I have in the past year had four appointments at your Redlands facility. Each time I am asked the very same questions (what are you allergic to , etc.) and each of the four recent visits I’ve been told that I need a Colon screening, to which I tell them I had a colonostomy in June of this year even supplying them with all the data and paperwork from that procedure. Today in the mail I received a package with instructions to do a Colon screening. DOES ANYONE AT YOUR FACILITY USE A COMPUTER THE WAY IT WAS INTENDED TO BE USED ? Why would I be asked the very same questions concerning my medical history EVERY TIME I come in ? I was in the auto service business for many years, when a customer came in we got their name and looked them up in the computer and saw their entire history with us. Your business involves serious life and death issues, how can your system be so flawed ? This is serious stuff here ! If someone were hospitalized would there be quick access records to medications that they were allergic to, or their previous medical history ? From what I have already experienced I think not. Your record system is a total joke, and a waste of time and money. It would be very easy to correct. What’s the problem? Would it cost too much to get right ? What a joke !

  9. I was appalled at the treatment I witnessed of a patient who just recently passed away at Kaiser. Kaiser advertises that they genuinely care for their patients. That didn’t seem to be the case regarding this particular patient. Cline went in for Angioplasty and suffered a heart attack. I went to visit him in CCU and he was put in a bed/chair device on wheels and facing the nurses station. It was heart wrenching to see this man sitting in this chair with all his private parts exposed for the entire facility to see. He was unaware of his exposure himself being that he was heavily sedated. When I asked the nurse for a blanket or an extra gown to cover him up, the nurse was annoyed that I interrupted him. It took him greater than 5 minutes to bring me a blanket to cover him. WHAT ABOUT CLINES DIGNITY? That didn’t appear to be a factor at all. It was sickening how they treated this poor man. With his passing I wonder if it was the lack of care he received. It seemed he was on the road to recovery, he appeared to be more lucid then was moved to another floor. From there he went down hill at a fast pace. I can’t say the treatment was any better. I had to often ask if they were feeding him because his food tray was so far out of reach. He was unable to feed himself. I will give credit to a young kind nurse. She was very helpful but I have NOTHING positive to say about the rest of the staff.

  10. Why doesn’t Kaiser permanent do a random drug check on its employees.we work for Kaiser contacted compliance via email nothing is been done.Next we will contact the press

  11. Hi,
    I retired from IBM 5 years ago and the company pay me
    $7000 annually for my health insurance. I am married.
    the first year of my retirement, my co-payment with Kaiser is $88.–
    The 3rd year is about $350
    The 5th year is about $550
    Next year IBM just informed me that it will jumped more
    than 77% (about $900.0)
    I have couple concerns
    1. Why the premium increase so much like crazy? I have a meager pension.
    2. Every day my wife and I (including my friends)
    have noticed that Kaiser advertise on TV so many times.
    If you cut these advertisements, the premium will go
    lower.
    Does it work to advertise…Kaiser thrive?
    The answer is no. It makes people mad. The best
    advertisement for hospital is mouth by mouth. If your
    doctors cut patient the wrong leg, leave a scissor in
    patient stomach, mess up with the medical record, no
    matter how much you spend on ad, IT WILL NOT HELP TO
    BUILD A GOOD IMAGE.
    HELP REDUCING PREMIUM…
    STOP THE AD, STOP THE AD, STOP THE AD

  12. I am very disappointed in Kaiser. After having been a member for over 20 years as a federal employee, I am now treated like a second class citizen because I’m working for a private company. I understand that this company’s insurance plan is the “primary” insurance plan. However, I still make full monthly payments to Kaiser from my federal retirement salary. Yet, when I went to see my regular Kaiser doctor, Kaiser did not send the invoice to my other plan; nor did they notify me that I needed to send the bill to the other company. This is absolutely terrible customer service. I will not be renewing my retiree health insurance, and I will be encouraging other retirees to consider other insurance companies as well. Kaiser is obviously not interested in keeping me as a member

  13. Mr. Halverson,
    Have you read/received The Milbank Report – EVIDENCE-BASED MATERNITY CARE: WHAT IT IS AND WHAT IT CAN ACHIEVE? It is available on the web but I would like to mail you a hard copy.
    As you know, Maternity Care is the least evidence-based medical modality and this report can help your hospital administrators turn things around.
    Another concern is the fact that ALL facilities are not designated as Baby-Friendly. Why is that?? We really do want mothers and babies to THRIVE.
    Jeanne Batacan

  14. I am not sure who I need to be talking with but we’ve got a Health Solution for the H1N1 Swine Flu program that will help protect your members better than anything else on the market. It is a special respirator that Neutralizes any virus, not just filter it.
    If your members wish to order the respirators they can view the documentary below and on the right side of the website is a link to order. Click on it and put in the special code ZPXRFK and they will get a 25% discount.
    Please look at the documentary – http://www.truthaboutflu.com.
    Please let me know who I would talk with.
    Thank You,
    Peter Stuart

  15. I would like to keep my name anonymous for now. I would like you to know that the kaiser nurses are NOT THRIVING. I was wrongfully terminated, harassed, treated cruelly by my managers. The nurse who are still there are also being harassed. overworked. They are scared each day of being fired. I am a chemotherapy certified, telemetry certified, ACLS certified RN who has been a dedicated Kaiser Employee for 9 years. I have had nothing but great evaluations. My termination and the way I have been treated for the last 6 months have contributed to so much mental stress that I am being treated by doctors and new medicines. I have been through a terrible trauma and PTSD> My fellow coworkers were shocked at my termination and have written my wonderful reference letters. I always went above and beyond for my patients and worked so hard. I also have been discriminated for getting upset after being treated cruelly by management. The nurses are the backbone of the hospital, the “worker bees”, and are treated miserably, harrassed and abused. Is this the way NURSES SHOULD BE TREATED? It is so hypocritical that the ad campaign is thrive, when it should be trying to stay alive. Myself and my coworkers are ABSOLUTELY NOT THRIVING! In fact, my cholestrol is up from the stress. Kaiser has done NOTHING to help me. I have been trying to find a job for 4 months and it is very difficult because even nurses can’t get jobs easily during this recession. I could be on the street now for all Kaiser cares! One does not fire a good, conscientous nurse respected by nurses and doctors alike who goes above and beyond. I should be getting praised and honored, rather than ABUSED! Please, respond. I would like to be a voice for my comrades and other fired nurses who are also traumatized!

  16. Obama Administration and Congress state intentions to cut Medicare, especially target the “advantage” programs. I am a 100% satisfied Senior Advantage Member and very worried that the government will diminish the best program, Kaiser, that is the ANSWER to sustainable national healthcare. I have been a hospital administrator for 40 years, I think that qualifies my comment.

  17. I am a very, very satisfied Kaiser patient. I have almost always been able to see my primary physician (even on short notice) and they have all been fantastic doctors who take extra time to make sure I understand what is being said and how it affects me. I’ve also taken advantage of the many classes offered through Kaiser and the online health resources. I have 2 children who have also received excellent care from Kaiser. I go to the Gilroy office in California and everyone else I know who goes there is equally happy. I wish I understood better how the Health Care Reform was going to affect my Kaiser experience.

  18. Hello Mr. Halvorsen,
    I have been received unwanted correspondence from Ms. Anselmo Bryant (KFHPNW Rep). I have emailed her over the past six weeks without a reply and yet I continue to receive information on Kaiser’s services in the PNW. I already have health insurance and am requesting you ask Ms. Bryant to take me OFF her USPS mailing list. Her contact email is a.bryant@kpsalescenter.org
    Thanks in advance for your assistance.
    Erasmo

  19. Hello George Halvorson –
    Dr. Bhanu Rekha Bhaskar has performed a poor service for one of our employees. I have tried contacting her directly with no luck. (I dare you to try contacting any doctor by name using 408 851-1000 your phone system is a joke.) I need to speak with Dr. Bhaskar. Without fully understanding the problem she has encouraged an employee to violate company policy and the uniform fire code. Please have her contact me using my daytime phone number. Thanks

  20. As a Kaiser Volunteer these past 14 years, 13 in the IT Department, I was fortunate to have assisted the IT Project Manager of the New West Wing Hospital. I have seen the advanced achievements that Kaiser has incorporated in their health care to their members. I see Kaiser as a National model for incorporating a Health Connect type that can be universal for our country.
    Kudos for what I see as a job well done.
    Nicholas King

  21. SIR:
    AM UNGRY, FRUSTRATED WITH THE POOR SERVICE I HAVE RECEIVED BY KP/PALMDALE MEMEBER SERVICES APPT DESK
    .. I have been calling you SC office (Palmdale) obtain an appt. to see a physician and over and over I have been transfere back and forth to the dame people. Also without an exception, I have been told (for 3 days) We are sorry ma’am but “there is nothing available” and they recommended that I should go to ER in Lancaster or to Panorama City (60 Miles 1 way) No, I am not paying almost $400. per monrh for ER services The contract specifieses “QUALITYand STATE-OF THE ART CARE” This is a laugh.. I have been in the telephone for over 2.5 hours trying to obtain a same date appoinmtent. This is my third attempt and I will not give up until I get answer to my question “Why can’t I get an same or next day appointment with any physician? I have spoken to several people in the member and appointment services but they all say the same.. they have no clue as to the reasons why and no idea (?) who is in charge and CAN NOT answer my question. They are polite but clueless and cold. You are better off hiring robots. Your advertising is good but far far from the truth. They are EMPTY/FALSE words

  22. MR. HALVORSON, I COPIED THE FOLLOWING BLURB FROM ONE OF KP’S WEBSITES AND FIND THE STATEMENT HARD TO BELIEVE.
    FROM LISTENING TO THE HORRIFIC TREATMENT GIVEN TO SEVERAL ACQUAINTANCES, KP MAY BOAST OF “INDUSTRY LEADING TECHNOLOGY ADVANCES” BUT KP IS FAR FROM “STATE-OF-THE-ART CARE DELIVERY.” KP CUTS EXPENSES BY SHORTCHANGING ITS MEMBERS WITH DOCTORS WHO TAKE SIX MONTHS TO DIAGNOSE AN EXCRUCIATINGLY PAINFUL KNEE (TORN MINISCUS) OR A SLIPPED DISK BECAUSE THEY WANT TO AVOID HAVING CTs OR MRIs PERFORMED.
    THE TELEVISION COMMERCIAL DEPICTING COMPASSIONATE, EXPERT, CARING PHYSICIANS IS RIDICULOUSLY INACCURATE.
    I, FOR ONE, AM FORTUNATE TO HAVE A HEALTH CARE PLAN FROM MY FORMER EMPLOYMENT THAT DOES PROVIDE COMPASSIONATE & EXPERT CARE THAT CAN BE RELIED ON WITHOUT BREAKING NEITHER THE INSURANCE COMPANY’S NOR THE PATIENT’S BUDGET.
    WHETHER JIM, CHARLIE, KATY OR BILL RELAY THE REAL STORY FROM THE PATIENTS THEMSELVES TO THE PUBLIC,YOU & YOUR COLLEGUES WILL ONE DAY ANSWER TO THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON, GOD. MAY HE SOFTEN YOUR HEART TO REALIZE THE TRUTH.
    MARYD
    About Kaiser Permanente
    Kaiser Permanente is shaping the future of health care. We are America’s leading health care provider and not-for-profit health plan. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 8.6 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our 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. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: http://www.kp.org/newscenter.

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