Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente is the nation’s largest non-profit health plan, serving 8.2 million members. The organization reports 30 hospitals and 431 medical office buildings for a total of 56.5 million square feet of occupied space nationwide. In 2003, the company invested about $1.7 billion in capital and technology. At the same time, more than $1.2 billion went to retrofitting and constructing new hospitals and medical offices, which represented a nearly $400-million increase over the prior year. In California this year, four new hospitals are under construction and seven are planned to begin construction in the next year.
[Editors’ Note: Serving the needs of patients and 136,407 employees (of which approximately 11,000 are physicians at Permanente Medical Groups), Oakland, CA-based Kaiser Permanente receives consistently high marks in quality measurement and member satisfaction surveys conducted by outside experts. A 3.9-percent operating margin achieved in 2003 has made possible a direct investment in Kaiser facilities, equipment, and systems, which is fortunate as California state law requires the rebuilding or retrofitting of many hospitals for improved seismic safety. As a result, Kaiser states that seismic upgrading will represent about a $4-billion expenditure for the organization over the next 10 years.]