Kaiser Permanente, the nationally-recognized Oakland, Calif.-based integrated healthcare system, has acquired Seattle-based Group Health Cooperative, adding nearly 590,000 members to Kaiser’s reach.
Both organizations are known for their healthcare innovation as well as their adoption and advancement of health IT. They also have allowed each health plan's members to receive care while visiting the other's service areas for nearly two decades, the organizations said in an announcement last week.
Pending approvals by Group Health's voting membership and regulatory entities, the organization would become fully integrated with Kaiser Permanente and operate as a new, eighth region. Like other Kaiser Permanente regions, the Washington region will be managed locally while taking full advantage of Kaiser Permanente's national resources, the organizations said. Washington would join Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, mid-Atlantic States (Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C.), Northern California, Northwest (Oregon, Southern Washington), and Southern California, enabling the combined organization to service communities along the West coast from San Diego to Seattle.
Kaiser said that it intends to invest in the facilities, technology, member experience and the Group Health Cooperative workforce to ensure the best possible healthcare and coverage for the people and communities in Washington.
"This agreement is a natural extension of our long, successful working relationship with Group Health and it provides us with the opportunity to expand access to high-quality, affordable care and coverage," Bernard J. Tyson, chairman and CEO, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, said in a statement. "Kaiser Permanente and Group Health Cooperative are a natural fit. The opportunity to unite will allow us to best serve the current and future needs of our members, customers and employees. We look forward to welcoming the people of Group Health Cooperative into the Kaiser Permanente family."
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