Kaiser Permanente Company History Timeline


Therefore, on July 21, 1945, the Permanente Health Plan officially opened to the public.

In September, 1945, the Henry J. Kaiser Company established the Permanente Health Plan, a nonprofit trust, and the medical care program was on its way.

The organization was founded in 1945 by industrialist Henry J. Kaiser and physician Sidney R. Garfield.


The first medical group, The Permanente Medical Group, formed in 1948 in Northern California.

In 1948, Kaiser established the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (also known as Kaiser Family Foundation), a United States-based nonprofit, private operating foundation focusing on the major health care issues facing the nation.

Sidney Garfield & Associates had been a sole proprietorship, but in 1948, it was reorganized into a partnership, Permanente Medical Group.


With the class of 1949, he decided for the first time to alternate between the two schools and it was clearly Stanford's turn.


In 1951, the organization acquired its current name when Henry Kaiser unilaterally directed the trustees of the health plans, hospital foundations, and medical groups to add his name before Permanente.


In 1952, James Vohs began his career with Kaiser in labor and industrial relations with several different components of the Kaiser Company.

As noted earlier, starting in the spring of 1952, I'd been handling the duties of the corporate secretary's office--using probably about 5 percent of my working time.

In 1952 the health plans and hospitals changed the name from Permanente to Kaiser to build on Kaiser Industries' national recognition.


The Regional Oral History Office was established in 1954 to augment through tape-recorded memoirs the Library's materials on the history of California and the West.


Well, Sidney Garfield had been the "Central Office" prior to the events leading up to the Tahoe conference and continued to be effectively the central executive of the organization until the spring of 1955.

1955: Kaiser Permanente is reorganized to enable partnerships between the medical and management professions and to provide physicians with an investment stake in the program's future.


In 1957 he joined the Health Plan in Los Angeles as employee relations advisor, shortly thereafter becoming Health Plan manager of the Southern California Region.

The revised medical service agreement, as a true prospective agreement, first took effect in the beginning of 1957 in southern California.


However, that complex, high rise medical facility, commenced at the beginning of February, was serving patients November 15, 1958, just two weeks behind Mr.

Designed by Doctor Garfield himself, Kaiser Permanente's Ala Moana Medical Center opened in 1958 and served the medical needs of 5,000 Hawaii residents.

In 1958, it establish a fourth region in Hawaii.


At the stage of development of dual choice plans in 1959 it was not at all evident that the selection problems were serious problems.

The first full contract year, 1959, was essentially a cost reimbursement period.


He quickly ruined what should have been a simple project, and only a last-minute intervention by Keene and Trefethen in August 1960 prevented the total disintegration of the Hawaii organization.

In 1960 the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group was formed, and the health plan membership in Hawaii swelled nearly 800% to 39,000 people.


The schedules showed that each of the five partners received somewhat over $50,000 from the partnership for the calendar year 1961.


Membership reached one million in 1963.


Fleming, do you recall why Edgar Kaiser and Gene Trefethen would have been opposed in 1964 to expansion?

Why was it formed in 1964?


In the summer and fall of 1968, the Cleveland Community Health Foundation was in imminent danger of financial collapse, and the financial capacity of the labor groups that had been supporting the program was nearing the point of exhaustion.


He became quite active in the health policy debate that was going on at about the time that the Nixon administration took office in 1969.


Following completion of the initial nineteen interviews in the Kaiser oral history series, the advisory committee expanded the project beyond the 1970 cutoff date.

Ernie Saward had left in 1970, and the successor to him as medical director, although a wonderful person, was not a strong leader.

1970-96: Steady Growth Despite Stiffening Competition


*The preceding transcript is from the University of Virginia for the clearest possible presentation (pathway discovered by Vickie Travis). Check – February 17, 1971, 5:26 pm – 5:53 pm, Oval Office Conversation 450-23.


In 1974 Henry Meade Kaiser became CEO of KFI. Was that a titular position?


Having overseen Kaiser Permanente's successful transformation from Henry Kaiser's health care experiment into a large-scale self-sustaining enterprise, Keene retired in 1975.


By 1976, membership reached three million.


Photo: Bill Coggins, licensed clinical social worker, and director of the Watts Counseling and Learning Center, celebrates its dedication, 1977.

In 1977 Fleming returned to the Central Office as Senior Vice President in its Executive Department.


In 1980, Kaiser acquired a non-profit group practice to create the Mid-Atlantic region, encompassing the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia.

In 1980, the organization established its first region in the eastern United States, in the Washington, D.C., area.


The combination of taking an underwriting risk and being subject to retroactive changes through cost reimbursement methodology was not practical from the viewpoint of Kaiser Permanente and most other plans. It was not until the Medicare amendments of 1982, when the Medicare authorities were beginning to recognize the value of a price system as contrasted with a cost system, that the legislation was finally amended in a manner that permitted


In August 1983, the office of Donald Duffy, Vice President, Public and Community Relations for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, contacted Willa Baum, Director of the Regional Oral History Office, about a possible oral history project with twenty to twenty-four pioneers of the Program.


The Kaiser Permanente Oral History Project staff, comprised of Malca Chall, Sally Hughes, and Ora Huth, met frequently throughout 1985 to assign the interviews, plan the procedures and the time frame for research, interviewing, and editing, and to set up a master index.

In 1985, Kaiser Permanente expanded to Georgia.


Similarly the project lost Karl Steil due to his lengthy illness and death in 1986.


The entire series will be completed during 1987.

1987: Membership climbs to five million.


Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., March 15, 1989.

Doctor Saward died in 1989.


By 1990, Kaiser Permanente provided coverage for about a third of the population of the cities of San Francisco and Oakland; total Northern California membership was over 2.4 million.


Kaiser spokespersons were also placed on MacNeil-Lehrer, First Business, and CBS Evening News to promote the Kaiser brand of HMO. A report by the California Nurses Association found that in 1995 Kaiser paid out $96.1 million to its top four management consultant firms alone.

In 1995, Kaiser Permanente celebrated its fiftieth anniversary as a public health plan.


In 1996 the organization adopted an official policy of direct community benefit investment (DCBI) with the goal of improving the health of communities in which Kaiser is a presence and increasing access to affordable health care.

In 1996, the year following its 50th anniversary, Kaiser Permanente enrolled health plan membership reached 7.4 million.


The problems in Texas were so severe that Kaiser directed its law firm to attempt to block the release of a Texas Department of Insurance report in 1997 – a report that prompted the state attorney general to threaten to revoke Kaiser’s license.

However, despite its membership growth, Kaiser Permanente faced some tough problems in 1997.

In 1997, the organization established an agreement with the AFL-CIO to explore a new approach to the relationship between management and labor, known as the Labor Management Partnership.


The first class of interpreters graduated in 1998 with training in Spanish, Russian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, Thai, and more.

In the search for more profitable markets to enter, in 1998 the company also undertook a partnership alliance with Miami-based AvMed Health Plan, thereby gaining a foothold in Florida.

In 1998, Kaiser Permanente sold its Texas operations, where reported problems had become so severe that the organization directed its lawyers to attempt to block the release of a Texas Department of Insurance report.


During that quarter, the organization had a net income of $187 million on revenues of $5 billion, up from $105 million net income on revenues of $4.6 billion in 2000.

The organization also sold its unprofitable Northeast division in 2000.


Having lost $4.4 million on Medicaid plans in 2001 and approximately $2 million in each of the prior two years, Kaiser warned officials that unless reimbursement rates increased, the organization would be forced to withdraw.

Total Assets: $17 billion (2001)


In March 2002 Kaiser announced that it would drop coverage of 7,800 low-income HMO members in Colorado as of June 1 due to a payment dispute with the state's health officials.

colliver, victoria. "david m. lawrence: ceo led kaiser through storm." the san francisco chronicle, 31 march 2002.

Kaiser invested nearly $2 billion in an electronic medical records system that is scheduled to be operational in Northern California in the fall of 2002.

"kaiser foundation." hoover's company profiles, 2002. available at http://www.hoovers.com.

In 2002, Kaiser Permanente abandoned its attempt to build its own clinical information system with IBM, writing off some $452 million in software assets.


In 2004, Kaiser launched a $40 million dollar ad campaign titled “Thrive”. The television, radio, billboard, print, and web campaign focuses on the theme of preventive care.


In 2005, The United States and state attorneys general penalized Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group $1.9 million for making improper Medicare and Medicaid claims.

In 2005, the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) levied an historic fine of $200,000 against Kaiser Permanente for disclosing patient information on a public web site.


A vision of health care and informatics in 2008.


Deployed across all eight regions over six years and at a cost of more than $6 billion, by 2010, it was the largest civilian electronic medical record system, serving more than 8.6 million Kaiser Permanente members, implemented at a cost exceeding a half million dollars per physician.


The Ohio division was sold to Catholic Health Partners in 2013.


In 2014, the program expanded significantly when the National Cancer Institute awarded it $7.3 million.


Our San Diego Medical Center opened in 2017 and was certified at the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Platinum level.


In 2019, it achieved LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance Platinum certification, making the facility the first double LEED Platinum hospital in the country.


Our commitment to the environment started even earlier, leading to our 2020 milestone of becoming the first health care system in the United States to achieve carbon-neutral status.

As of 2020 KP HealthConnect supports 12.2 million members.

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Kaiser Permanente is 78 years old.

Who Is The Founder Of Kaiser Permanente?

Henry Kaiser, Sidney Garfield and Chris Grant founded Kaiser Permanente.

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Kaiser Permanente may also be known as or be related to KAISER FOUNDATION HEALTH PLAN INC, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Kaiser Permanente.