Kaiser Permanente is one of the largest corporations in California, and too often it is straying from its mission to serve its patients, employees and communities. Below are two bills introduced in the California Legislature designed to improve transparency and accountability at Kaiser Permanente.
Senate Bill 343 *Signed into Law*
SB 343 would require Kaiser Permanente to provide more data justifying increases in health insurance premiums, as is presently required of other health insurance companies. It would also require the company to provide financial information on an individual hospital level, as opposed to its current practice of lumping data for all hospitals into two regions: Northern California and Southern California. Breaking out individual hospitals’ financial information makes it easier for consumers to compare facilities in their area.
With Kaiser controlling one in ten California hospitals and more than 40 percent of insured Californians with group healthcare coverage, this legislation makes it easier for employers to negotiate favorable rates when purchasing health insurance for their workers. To read the text of the legislation, click here.
Assembly Bill 1404
AB 1404 would mandate that Kaiser and any other similar non-profit healthcare system report to the public more information about the use of the non-profit assets being paid out as benefits for executives and doctors at for-profit businesses. It would close a loophole that allows non-profits to keep such arrangements in the dark.
Under the arrangement between the non-profit and for-profit arms of Kaiser, the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan furnishes a supplemental retirement plan to the for-profit Permanente Medical Groups’ executives and doctors that carries a $7.7 billion obligation. In effect, the non-profit part of Kaiser serves as financial backstop to the for-profit medical group. To read the text of the legislation, click here.