Kaiser squeezes into the black for third quarter


POSTED: Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Hawaii eked out its first quarterly profit this year but saw its expenses outstrip revenue amid increasing health care costs.

The state's largest health maintenance organization, which has applied to the state Insurance Division for an average 10.7 rate increase for 2010, said today it posted third-quarter net income of $100,000 compared with a loss of $400,000 a year ago.

Although revenue rose 5.8 percent to $239.1 million from $226 million, expenses were slightly higher last quarter at $240.1 million, a 4.9 percent gain from $228.9 million in the year-earlier quarter. Kaiser's $1.1 million in net investment income pushed the health provider into the black.

“;We are cautiously optimistic about this quarter as our year-to-date loss is $1.8 million,”; said Thomas Risse, vice president and chief financial officer of Kaiser. “;Our minor operational adjustments during this challenging economic period for Hawaii and the nation have helped us remain stable for our members and customers.”;

Kaiser, which has 224,000 members, has seen increased membership in its individual and family plan options due to layoffs and company closures that resulted in the loss of employer-covered benefits.





        Third-quarter net


Year-earlier loss




The company, with 17 clinics on Oahu, the Big Island and Maui, as well as its one Oahu hospital, Moanalua Medical Center, was recently recognized nationally with several awards and accolades:

» It was selected as having the highest-rated Medicaid plan in the nation, according to the U.S. News & World Report/National Committee on Quality Assurance's 2009-10 “;America's Best Health Insurance Plans”; rankings. It also was ranked 14th among Medicare plans in the nation. The rankings are based on clinical quality, member satisfaction and NCQA accreditation scores among all reporting Medicaid and Medicare plans in the nation.

» It leads the nation in mammography screenings for women age 42 to 69, according to NCQA.

» Kaiser's Moanalua Medical Center received the American Stroke Association's “;Get with the Guidelines — Stroke”; Gold Performance Achievement Award for ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment for at least 24 months, according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.

» It received the Exceeding Patient Expectations award presented by Avatar International, a national provider of quality improvement services to the health care industry. Moanalua Medical Center is the only hospital in Hawaii and one of 23 Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, among 109 inpatient and ambulatory surgical centers across the country, to receive the award.