Kaiser to restructure Colorado, Washington operations

Kaiser Permanente's Colorado and Washington medical groups and health plan have agreed to a new organizational structure and operating model in these two markets, Becker's has learned.

The move is "to bring these organizations together in each market as one operating entity so that they may respond to the increased competition in a more agile way," according to a source within Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente.

Colorado Permanente and Washington Permanente medical groups are part of Permanente Medical Groups, which are self-governed, physician-led, prepaid, multispecialty medical groups. Overall, there are more than 23,000 physicians in eight groups.

In the Colorado and Washington markets, components of the new model include the new Kaiser Permanente Medical Foundation, more alignment of the medical groups' support of Kaiser Permanente health system's mission, and one market leadership team that includes all physician levels.

"The medical foundation will organize expertise, systems, resources and standards to manage ambulatory care operations for our Colorado and Washington medical groups," the source said. "Through this change, the Colorado and Washington medical groups and health plan will have even more aligned responsibility and accountability to lead the market as one organization, including strategic planning, business planning, capital planning, growth, culture and marketing."

The medical foundation will also focus on growth and furthering relationships with organizations in Kaiser Permanente's other markets.

The source said the model aims "to better enable our organizations to be more agile, better compete and be more successful in these two markets. We believe this new model will improve our ability to build market leading and innovative care and coverage capabilities, better enabling us to deliver on our mission. It will make it easier to meet the needs of our members and patients by making work better, more aligned, more efficient and more transparent for clinicians and staff."

The organizational changes related to the new model are slated to take effect over the next several months, with the full model expected to be in place by the end of 2022.

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