DENVER — “I beat cancer once, I knew I could do it again,” said Ned Nedbalski, a Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage member in Colorado. Months after being diagnosed and treated for melanoma, a type of skin cancer, Nedbalski suffered a serious fall and required a scan.
The scan revealed 2 small nodules — potentially cancerous growths — on his lungs, and he was promptly diagnosed by his Kaiser Permanente care team with metastatic melanoma, meaning his cancer had spread. His care team recommended a new growth removal procedure, which requires a smaller incision in the chest and results in a significantly shorter hospital stay.
“While another cancer diagnosis was scary, I felt confident in my doctors and nurses at Kaiser Permanente. The procedure went smoothly and, almost like magic, I was back to my normal routine in no time.”
Nedbalski made a quick recovery from his growth removal surgery and is now undergoing preventive infusion treatments, which means he is receiving a series of treatments intravenously or through a vein. He credits his physicians and care teams at Kaiser Permanente with saving his life.
The National Committee for Quality Assurance 2021 health plan ratings report, released in September of 2021, has listed Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare and commercial plans as the highest rated in Colorado.
“We are honored to receive this prestigious rating from NCQA,” said Mike Ramseier, regional president for Kaiser Permanente in Colorado. “We thank all our physicians, nurses, care team members, and employees whose tireless work helps us provide the highest quality care and best service for our members.”
For 2021, NCQA rated more than 1,000 health plans on a scale from 0 to 5 stars, with 5 being the best. Only 17 health plans in the country (less than 2%) received a 5-star rating in 2021 — the highest possible rating — and Kaiser Permanente in Colorado earned one of them for its Medicare plan.
Kaiser Permanente’s commercial health plan earned 4.5 stars. Both these ratings are the highest-earned rating by any health plan in the state.
“This national recognition illustrates how even during the COIVD-19 pandemic, our physicians, care teams, and staff remain committed to keeping all our patients healthy,” said Dr. Jeff Krawcek, president and executive director for the Colorado Permanente Medical Group, which serves the 550,000 members of Kaiser Permanente in the state. “It’s in our DNA to provide outstanding care and service to our members, no matter the obstacles.”
NCQA ratings are based on various measures which assess a plan’s treatment, prevention, and patient experience.
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