“You’ve come a long way, baby.” This slogan adequately describes Kaiser Permanente, a leading HMO provider that has walked the distance of progress, and made her mark. Now to her we look for affordable medical insurance and innovative health care solutions to solve some of our nation’s health care concerns. Click Kaiser Permanente Recognition Awards to see some of the specific areas they have been honored for their contribution in changing qualify of care.
Growing up in the bay area near the grass roots of Kaiser Permanente, my general impression of Kaiser Permanente was not positive. My parents voiced their concerns and being the impressionable child that I was, I followed suit. I felt sorry for my friends who had Kaiser Permanente. We swore that our family would never join Kaiser. This was in the 1980’s. Now, 20 years later our family is proud Kaiser Permanente members. What was the basis for our extreme distaste, and why the change of tune? There were several reasons, mainly myths which may still be present to many would-be potential members.
Myth #1: I can’t choose my own doctor.
The truth is that each new member has the opportunity to select his or her own primary doctor within Kaiser Permanente’s growing network, along with an Obstetrician/Gynecologist doctor for women. If you are not happy, you can make a request to change doctors at any time.
Myth #2: I won’t be covered outside of the Kaiser service area.
The truth is that Kaiser Permanente will cover you anywhere in the world for an emergency or urgent care need. You can have peace of mind knowing that whether you are traveling overseas or out of the service area, Kaiser will cover you.
Myth #3: I have to be an advocate for my own health.
Within the last 10 years, the recent addition of Kaiser Permanente’s innovative electronic medical record system has dramatically increased their efficiency in tracking a patient’s health. This system tracks preventive exams due, along with other specific patient needs. Yes, Kaiser Permanente does encourage members to be responsible for their health. But they partner to assist the member by offering countless programs that address specific needs to prevent future disease and illness.
Having addressed some common myths, it is true that times have changed, and Kaiser Permanente has changed with the times. Just as a person grows and learns, Kaiser Permanente has heard the concerns of its members from the past, and now exceeds many of its loyal member’s expectations.