When healthcare gets it right, I think it’s important to notice.
Contrary to the HMO stereotype, Kaiser Permanente has taken on the challenge of HIV and instituted policies and guidelines for the effective care and treatment of persons with HIV- to dramatic effect:
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Kaiser Permanente announced (January 26th) the Kaiser Permanente HIV Challenge to help health care providers nationwide improve health equity for people living with HIV by increasing access to HIV care and improving health outcomes.
The HIV Challenge was announced at the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation Care Innovations Summit in Washington, D.C. ( www.hcidc.org ).
Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest nonprofit health care provider, has treated more than 60,000 people since the HIV epidemic emerged 30 years ago, and has reduced disparities among its current HIV population of more than 20,000 people by working to meet or exceed the objectives of the U.S. National HIV / AIDS Strategy.
The crux of the HIV Challenge (kp.org/hivchallenge) is to challenge other private health care providers and public and community health clinics to increase the number of HIV-positive people getting effective treatment by sharing Kaiser Permanente’s toolkit of clinical best practices, provider and patient education materials, mentoring, training and health IT expertise.
(Watch the excellent video series about Kaiser’s HIV Challenge here)
HIV is still an epidemic in the United States, with 56,000 people becoming infected each year and more than 1.1 million Americans living with HIV, but one in five people with HIV don’t know they are infected.
“The organizations presenting challenges here today are pushing the best minds in the country to create a better health care system. They represent exciting solutions to help address some of the nation’s most urgent health needs,” said CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.
Health care disparities are gaps in the quality of care associated with inequities encountered by racial, ethnic, poor and marginalized groups. The HIV Challenge is part of Kaiser Permanente’s larger work to identify, measure, research and eliminate disparities in health and health care in the United States. To learn more go to kp.org/healthdisparities.
“Too many people are unaware they have HIV because access to effective prevention and care is insufficient,” said Michael Horberg, MD, director of HIV/AIDS for Kaiser Permanente, executive director of research for Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, and a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. “People with HIV need to get into treatment because quality HIV treatment prevents others from getting infected. Patients on effective therapy and better case management are living longer and more productive lives. However, quality HIV treatment requires effort.”
Kaiser Permanente has demonstrated excellence in HIV clinical care outcomes with:
- HIV mortality rates that are half the national average
- 94 percent median treatment adherence among patients regularly in care and on antiretroviral therapy
- No disparities among its black and Latino HIV-positive patients for both mortality and medication rates, compared to a 15 percent higher rate in the United States for mortality and for medication
- 89 percent of its HIV-positive patients are in HIV-specific care within 90 days, compared to 50 percent in the U.S. within one year
- 69 percent of all its HIV-positive patients have maximal viral control compared to 19 percent to 35 percent nationally
As part of its HIV Challenge effort, Kaiser Permanente is sharing these best practices and tools for private health care providers and community health clinics to replicate: quality improvement programs that measure gaps in care; testing, prevention and treatment guidelines; how to set up multi-disciplinary care team models that emphasize the “medical home” so HIV specialists, care managers, clinical pharmacists and providers work together; and education for both the provider and patient.
For more details on the HIV Challenge, to download the best-practices toolkit and to watch videos of success stories in setting up HIV clinics and reducing disparities, go to: kp.org/hivchallenge
“Our success in the treatment of patients with HIV/AIDS results from the excellence of our clinicians, our advanced IT systems, our integrated delivery system and our effective coordination across specialties,” said Robert Pearl, MD, chief executive officer and executive medical director of The Permanente Medical Group and Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group. “In the same way that we have reduced the chances of our patients dying from cardiovascular disease and cancer significantly below the national averages, we have achieved outstanding clinical outcomes for our patients with HIV/AIDS.”
The National HIV/AIDS Strategy ( http://www.aids.gov/federal-resources/policies/national-hiv-aids-strategy/ ) calls for increased testing so that all Americans can know their HIV status, increased access to culturally sensitive prevention messages, community-targeted prevention and condom and clean needle access. NHAS also calls for improving access to quality HIV care because HIV medications not only improve individuals’ health and extend their life expectancy, they also reduce their risk of transmitting HIV to others. A recent scientific study found that effectively treating HIV patients with antiretroviral medications reduces HIV transmission by 96 percent. The study, known as HPTN 052, found that treating people with antiretroviral drugs before they are symptomatic can reduce the amount of virus in the blood sufficiently to reduce the risk of sexual transmission of HIV to an uninfected partner.
The Kaiser Permanente HIV Challenge is part of Kaiser Permanente’s ongoing research of HIV and HIV treatment. Published Kaiser Permanente research studies include:
- A study that found there are no disparities by race or ethnicity in risk of AIDS and death among HIV-infected patients in a setting of similar access to care, despite lower anti-retroviral therapy adherence among Latinos and blacks compared to whites.
- A study that found HIV-infected patients are at increased risk for cancer as a result of both their impaired immune system and lifestyle factors, such as smoking.
- A study that found 17 measures, such as screening and prevention for infections and monitoring of antiretroviral therapy, should be adopted uniformly to improve the quality of HIV care and treatment nationwide.
- A study that found that cholesterol medications can work well among certain HIV patients who are at risk for cardiovascular disease.
About the Care Innovations Summit:
Sponsored jointly by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Health Affairs, and the West Wireless Health Institute, the Care Innovations Summit brings together more than 1,000 health care leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, government officials, and finance experts to stimulate investment in a high-quality, sustainable health care system. Made possible by the Affordable Care Act and the Obama Administration’s commitment to open government, the Summit represents a new opportunity for industry and government to work together to help spur innovation in the public and private sectors to improve health care quality as never before and lower costs through improvement.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 8.9 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: http://www.kp.org/newscenter .
For more information:
Danielle Cass, firstname.lastname@example.org, 510-267-5354
Farra Levin, email@example.com, 510-267-7364
SOURCE Kaiser Permanente