Kaiser Permanente Cares for Modesto
Since joining the Modesto community less than 20 years ago, Kaiser Permanente has been on a mission to deliver high-quality, affordable health care and to improve the health of its members and the communities it serves.
It has succeeded, thanks to in an expansive range of services and an emphasis on wellness.
“Kaiser Permanente is an integrated health care system, which means that our physicians, hospitals and health plan are all under the same umbrella and work in concert to provide timely, comprehensive, and seamless care and service,” explains Deborah Friberg, senior vice president and area manager, Kaiser Permanente Central Valley Area. “Our focus is on our members’ and patients’ total health, guided by a team of personal physicians, specialists, and other caregivers.”
Kaiser Permanente’s expert medical teams are supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, care delivery and chronic disease management.
“As a result, our members enjoy excellent health compared to non-members,” Friberg says. “For example, we’ve been able to reduce serious heart attacks by 62 percent. A total of 85 percent of our members diagnosed with hypertension have their blood pressure under control compared to 60 percent nationally, and stroke deaths declined 42 percent between 2001 and 2010 in Northern California alone.”
Kaiser Permanente has been recognized for its commitment to providing members with high quality care, receiving a perfect score on clinical measures in its Quality Report Card for 2015 from the California Office of the Patient Advocate and getting some of the highest ratings in the nation on its Medicare plans.
The history of Kaiser Permanente goes back to the Great Depression, with a surgeon and a 12-bed hospital in the Mojave Desert where workers building the Colorado River Aqueduct were able to prepay their health care coverage.
“The physician, Sidney Garfield, focused his medical practice on maintaining health and safety rather than merely treating illness and injury,” Friberg says. “Today, Kaiser Permanente operates in the same way—we emphasize preventative care as the best way to keep our members healthy.”
Kaiser Permanente began service in Modesto in 1996, using contracted physicians from the community.
“As our membership in Stanislaus County grew, we opened our first medical office on Bangs Avenue in January 2003, and another at 3800 Dale Road in June of the same year, staffed with physicians from The Permanente Medical Group,” Friberg says. “The Modesto medical center at 4601 Dale Road opened in phases beginning in October 2006, with the hospital opening in October 2008.”
Two of the organization’s newest local services include an expanded cardiac catheterization lab that provides increased cardiac services including STEMI (heart attack) cases and pacemaker implants, and a Level 3 neonatal intensive care unit that enables staff to deliver and care for babies at 28 gestational weeks.
Kaiser Permanente also owns and operates a retail store where the public can inquire about health insurance as part of the Affordable Care Act/Covered California. The Modesto store, called Shop KP, is located at North Point Landing, 3848 McHenry Ave., Suite 325, and can be reached at (209) 577-1974.
“Shop KP representatives personally help guide consumers through the different options available for health care insurance under the Covered California plans and/or direct enrollment into Kaiser Permanente Individual and Family Plans,” Friberg says. “The store hosts seminars about the Affordable Care Act and how to enroll, as well as seminars called the Value of Kaiser Permanente Membership.” (For more information, visit www.shopKP.org or call 209-222-1871).
Besides offering increased options for local residents to get needed health care services (made even easier for more people by the Affordable Care Act), Friberg says, “We’re also helping to shape public policy to be healthier, including the adoption of a HEAL Cities Initiative by the City of Modesto which supports health and wellness of its citizens through increased access to parks and recreation, reducing childhood obesity through offering healthier foods and beverages at schools and other city-owned venues, and updates to its General Plan to help facilitate these improvements.”
Another thing that’s special about Kaiser Permanente is the easy access that members have to physicians and services.
“We want our patients to receive care when they want it, where they want it,” Friberg says. “In the Central Valley Service Area we have about 500 physicians, two medical centers, and nine outpatient medical office complexes for our 280,000 members in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties. We contract with Dameron Hospital to serve members in the Stockton area. In addition, we were the first health system in the area to convert paper files into electronic medical records, and our providers are easily accessible to members by secured email.”
Other innovative options include telephone and video visits that can save members time, travel and co-pays, and a no-cost shuttle that operates between Kaiser Permanente’s Manteca and Modesto hospitals from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., seven days a week.
With 3,400 employees throughout Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties, Kaiser Permanente prides itself on being an optimal workplace with low turnover rates and high employee satisfaction and has been awarded for its internal employee wellness program.
The organization’s wellness programs have also been a great asset to local members.
“We are very focused on wellness and prevention—we believe they are the premise of a great health care organization,” Friberg says. “When members come in for their checkups they not only get their blood pressure, temperature and weight checked, but they’re also asked a series of lifestyle and nutrition questions, including if they are exercising regularly and eating several fruits and vegetables a day.”
“Members also have access to a variety of wellness tools, all for free, including valuable information about health topics online, a wellness coach on the phone, classes to help people live healthier, and other resources,” Friberg adds. “As part of our preventative care program, we are able to instantly notify members at their routine appointments if they are overdue for screenings, such as flu vaccination or mammograms, which they can often get without an appointment.”
To learn more about Kaiser Permanente in Modesto, visit www.kp.org/centralvalley.