NU Online News Service, Jan. 24, 12:25 p.m. – Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, Calif., says it will publish its clinical care guidelines on its Web site.
The site will also describe the incentive system the company uses to encourage doctors to help control health care costs.
Kaiser, a large, nonprofit health maintenance organization, is posting the information and taking other steps to settle a lawsuit by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, Consumers for Quality Care and the Steven Andrew Olsen Coalition for Patients’ Rights. The organizations filed two lawsuits in 1999 alleging that Kaiser engaged in false advertising and other violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law.
Also as part of the settlement, Kaiser says it will increase efforts to encourage members to select a personal physician; continue to recruit doctors, to ensure members a wide choice; and “reaffirm” that employees handling calls from claimants will not receive incentives for limiting or denying access to medical care.
In addition, Kaiser has agreed to improve its call center and help study emergency care in California hospitals.