I have become skeptical of ALL awards, prizes and honors.  They are most often based on
politics, not merit, in my experience.  My guess is that George Halvorson has leveraged his
position on the NCQA board of directors.  I'm guessing that areas where Kaiser did well
were given more weight, and Kaiser's very serious shortcomings were given short shrift.

Kaiser Permanente Health Plans Receive High Marks in
'NCQA's Health Insurance Plan Rankings 2011-2012'
PR Newswire.com
SOURCE Kaiser Permanente

In the "NCQA's Health Insurance Plan Rankings 2011-2012" Kaiser Permanente has seven
regions in the top 25 Medicare plans, the No. 2 Medicaid plan in the nation and six regions
in the top 50 Private (Commercial) plans.

OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente continued to
demonstrate strong performance and ranked among the top health plans in the nation, in a
report published today by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

The "NCQA's Health Insurance Plan Rankings" report is published annually and ranks health
plans in three categories: Medicare, Medicaid and Private (Commercial). The top four
Medicare plans in the country were Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Kaiser
Permanente Southern California, Kaiser Permanente Colorado and Kaiser Permanente
Northwest. Kaiser Permanente Hawaii ranked number seven in the nation for Medicare plans
and retained its 2010 position as the No. 2 ranked Medicaid plan in the nation. The six
largest Kaiser Permanente plans rated in the top 10 percent for all commercial plans in the
country. The two smaller plans rated in the top 20 percent.

"We are proud and deeply honored by being recognized among the top Commercial,
Medicare and Medicaid health plans this year," said Jed Weissberg, MD, senior vice
president, Hospitals, Quality and Care Delivery Excellence, Kaiser Permanente. "Our high
standing in this year's report underscores Kaiser Permanente's deep commitment for
sustained improvement; the dedicated work of our physicians, nurses and care teams; and
the value of our cutting-edge electronic health record in helping to support the relentless
drive toward the highest quality health care possible."

Now in its sixth year, the "NCQA's Health Insurance Plan Rankings" is based on combined
scores for health plans in Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set®, commonly
called HEDIS; the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems®, or CAHPS,
and NCQA Accreditation standards scores. Consumers and employers assess plans prior to
annual enrollment periods.

"Kaiser Permanente's outstanding performance in the NCQA's Health Plan Insurance
Rankings across our geographical regions is a testament to our success relative to quality,
service, and affordability of our care," said Bernard Tyson, president and chief operating
officer, Kaiser Permanente.  "Our efforts are being recognized by these rankings."

In the Medicare category, with 341 plans ranked, Kaiser Permanente had the following
national rankings:

Kaiser Permanente Northern California – 1st
Kaiser Permanente Southern California – 2nd
Kaiser Permanente Colorado – 3rd
Kaiser Permanente Northwest – 4th
Kaiser Permanente Hawaii – 7th
Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States – 17th
Kaiser Permanente Ohio –
Kaiser Permanente Georgia – 31st

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii was the only Kaiser Permanente plan eligible for the Medicaid

The Hawaii plan ranked second in the nation out of 99 plans...

[Maura Larkins comment: This is sad indeed.  Kaiser Hawaii
couldn't even diagnose ringworm in a Medicaid patient who
suffered for two months in 2011, with Kaiser giving her one
wrong medication after another, until a non-Kaiser clinic in
California diagnosed her correctly and cured her in three days.  
So either the other 98 plans are really, really awful, or the rating
system is flawed.]
NCQA Board of Directors
NCQA, with Kaiser's CEO on its board, finds (big
surprise!) that Kaiser deserves high marks
San Diego
Education Report
Thank Heaven for
Insurance Companies blog
KP On Call

Kaiser department rankings

Cancer score card

Cardiology score card
US Health Insurance
Kaiser Permanente executives

Retaliation by Kaiser
Missing Medical Records
Warnings deleted from
abnormal test results
Kaiser conflicts of interest
Kaiser fails to diagnose
Kaiser employees
consent form
Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente executives

Urology score card: x-rays on
thermal paper, missing x-rays
Comparison San Diego  hospitals

Kaiser: missing x-rays, x-rays
stored only on thermal paper
Kaiser arbitration

Kaiser peer review
Paul Bernstein and Kaiser
Healthcare reform
Remediating failure to diagnose
Nathaniel L. Oubré, Jr.

Mary Ann Barnes
Kaiser executives
George Halvorson, Kaiser
Permanente CEO
Profits grow as Kaiser cuts
patient care costs
George C. Halvorson
NCQA board of directors AND Kaiser
Permanente Chairman and CEO
(Formerly with Health Partners of Minnesota)

Even though it's a "not-for-profit" company, Kaiser has made $5 billion
in profits since 2009 and pays George Halvorson, it's CEO, nearly $8
million a year.

NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization that claims to be dedicated to improving
health care quality.  But who's on the board?