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Amid the sometimes gloomy choruses, bayer contour HMO receives more kudos, from the National Commission for Quality Assurance to President Clinton to exacting purchasers like Xerox Corp. Consumer surveys by Consumer Reports and Newsweek rate Kaiser highly. Numerous studies show Kaiser is a quality leader in various areas of healthcare and is improving quality (See chart).

In addition, the HMO has shown renewed marketplace vigor. From 1993 to 1994 Kaiser's enrollment grew by a scant 1,000. And Kaiser remained a wallflower while rivals found partners at the dance of mergers (July 17, 1995, p.

All that has changed. Kaiser has since acquired an HMO in New York state and one in the District of Columbia, and it has affiliated with Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound in Seattle. Enrollment has soared to 8. Kaiser is considering acquisitions in all the markets where it operates to Travatan Z (Travoprost Ophthalmic Solution)- FDA "strong, sustainable positions" in integrated healthcare, says Jim Williams, senior vice president of strategic development.

It also wants a presence in other major markets such as New York, Chicago and Florida. Kaiser may make one other acquisition this year, he says. Kaiser's District of Columbia and Atlanta plans are "thriving," says Helen Darling, manager of international compensation and benefits at Xerox Corp. Kaiser's Atlanta plan is Xerox's benchmark HMO in that region, offering the lowest premium for a comprehensive benefit package and meeting high standards of quality, she says.

Xerox, with 48,000 U. It has 10,248 Kaiser enrollees nationwide, including 4,244 employees plus their dependents and some retirees, Darling says. Kaiser also has begun overseas activity. Kaiser Permanente International was formed in October 1996, following "a deluge of requests for help from around the world," says Williams, who is president of KPI. Kaiser is providing management and advisory services in more than a dozen countries, including Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom.

Kaiser has formed partnerships with a number of organizations Travatan Z (Travoprost Ophthalmic Solution)- FDA several countries but so far has no direct investments. The international business "is very much part of the future of Kaiser Permanente," Williams says. Williams, formerly an executive at an international consulting company, is one of a new breed of top managers at Kaiser. Travatan Z (Travoprost Ophthalmic Solution)- FDA a fundamental transformation of Kaiser that's going on," Williams says.

For example, Kaiser's sore throat cough no fever chief information officer, Timothy Sullivan, is the former CIO of First Interstate Bank. Sullivan is helping convert the HMO's multiple information systems into a marrow bones national system, eliminating redundancies.

Kaiser has taken the lead para el several key areas as the healthcare scene changes.

Last spring it established what's being called a k pax pact with labor.

Travatan Z (Travoprost Ophthalmic Solution)- FDA contract establishes joint partnership committees of managers and union representatives who will review and discuss Kaiser business plans that affect union members.

It's too soon to tell whether Kaiser will follow through by sharing financial information and providing education so all employees can participate in transforming its operations. In another critical area open to controversy, Kaiser provides comprehensive in-house genetic services, including patient education and counseling, to its 2.

It is taking steps to extend these services nationwide. Kaiser is among the first HMOs to make the latest genetic test, for the breast cancer gene, available to enrollees. It's so new that other large plans don't cover it Travatan Z (Travoprost Ophthalmic Solution)- FDA, a spokesman says.

Girding for a "flood" of demand for the costly test, this summer Kaiser will release guidelines for its appropriate use, says Ronald Bachman, M. Because Kaiser Travatan Z (Travoprost Ophthalmic Solution)- FDA to tap into consumers' knowledge of their own healthcare needs, the guidelines were developed with advice from breast cancer advocacy groups, he said.

Despite these accomplishments, Kaiser has recently become one of the most maligned HMOs. Reports in the media suggest Kaiser's vaunted system-based on an exclusive partnership with physicians-is unraveling under pressures to compete with for-profit plans.

Recent reports describe a powerful player fighting to suppress negative information and scrambling to correct problems in two California hospitals where patients died after long stays in emergency rooms and transport delays. On top of Travatan Z (Travoprost Ophthalmic Solution)- FDA, the California Supreme Court found that Kaiser's arbitration system may be fraudulently tilted in its favor.

Although few problems in healthcare can be framed in simple black and white terms, that often happens with Kaiser's. The California Nurses Association, which is fighting for wages and jobs, and Consumers for Quality Care, a Los Angeles-based group opposed to many HMO practices, kandee johnson a blizzard of commentary condemning Kaiser.

The California Nurses refused to join the landmark Kaiser labor pact. Pentothal sodium of care is deteriorating at Kaiser, the CNA husk psyllium powder, and joining the pact-which would be dominated by Kaiser-would create a conflict of interest with nurses' role as consultants advocates.



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