THE FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE IS ACCESS ANYWHERE
Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States
Mobile technology has impacted nearly every industry and health care is no exception. As consumers increasingly expect to access products and services any time of day, from any location, Kaiser Permanente has launched several initiatives to meet the demand for health care anytime, anywhere.
Kaiser Permanente is recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. It currently serves approximately 9.5 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Kaiser Permanente’s care is focused on its members’ total health and guided by its personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. The organization’s expert medical teams are supported by industry-leading technology and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, care delivery and chronic disease management.
Kim Horn is the president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc. and joined the organization in October 2012. She oversees all aspects for the Mid-Atlantic region that serves more than 510,000 members and operates 29 medical care facilities. She also maintains an ongoing partnership with the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group to continue to strengthen the expansion of capacity and internalization efforts underway in the region.
Here, Horn discusses how the way health care delivery is changing and the importance or creating a healthy workplace for employees.
Q: What distinguishes Kaiser Permanente from other health coverage organizations in the Mid-Atlantic region?
A: At Kaiser Permanente, we have a better approach. Kaiser Permanente stands alone in delivering an innovative and fully integrated combination of care and coverage for an unparalleled health experience. Care and coverage together means receiving health care is easier, more convenient and better quality. Every part of the health team — doctors, specialists, pharmacies, labs, technology, hospitals and health plans — are all connected and working together to provide integrated, affordable care.
Q: How do the mobile health van and the web-based chats with doctors reflect how health care is changing?
A: Kaiser Permanente has always been a national leader in health care technology and innovation. As health care is transitioning from an in-patient model, and even from an outpatient model, to a home or community based mode, we are using our technology and innovation to allow us to provide care where people live, play and work. Our Mobile Health Vehicle is able to travel to numerous locations and offer vital tests to individuals either at their workplace, or to members of the community at health fairs and events. Our HouseCalls program, for example, operates under the same idea: our members no longer need to travel to us for all their care. By utilizing technology, we’re able to stream the expertise of a board-certified emergency room physician right into your living room. That makes care convenient and more efficient. Busy moms don’t have to get the kids ready and then fight traffic to get to the doctor’s office.
Q: For employers, why is providing wellness initiatives important? What are some inexpensive options they implement?
A: We take employee wellness very seriously. At our own offices, we’ve made adjustments to how we meet and eat. No longer are donuts and other unhealthy items allowed during our meetings. We also encourage walking meetings, which reduce the amount of time our staff is seated at a desk. Getting outdoors also helps boost creativity.
We created our HealthWorks program to help our customer employer groups identify opportunities to improve employee wellness, providing targeted solutions that contribute to better work site health. For example, our Mobile Health Vehicle will drive to a worksite and test employees’ blood pressure, body mass index and glucose levels. We’ll then get those numbers and work with the employer group to identify opportunities for improvement. Those opportunities could include walking meetings, healthier options in the vending machines, more healthy choices in the cafeteria, or even an “instant recess” at the office. Research shows that just 5 to 10 minutes of movement everyday can improve the health of a workforce.
Q: How is marketing to the Millennial demographic different than some of your older customer targets?
A: We’ve found that Millennials really want care how, when and where they want health care. As we like to call it, care anywhere. And they’re really plugged in to their devices.
With this being the case, Kaiser Permanente’s focus on technology and convenience is really ideal for them. For example, our members can utilize KP’s mobile app, which allows our members to check their lab results, schedule appointments, and even email their doctors all from their smartphone. This is care anytime, anywhere. In addition, services in our multi-specialty medical centers are co-located, making one-stop shopping easy and convenient. For a busy millennial, they can come into one of these medical centers and get labs, imaging, and eye testing done all in the same visit.