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Ohio News Stories About Kaiser Permanente

Section 1 – 34 THE SUNDAY PLAIN.DEALER, MARCH 27, 1977  - First profit in 13 years


Kaiser group .. reporting fiscal health

By William F. Miller .

The first prepaid health care plan in the Midwest earned $900,000 last year, said John R. Capener, vice president and regional manager of Kaiser. 

Most of the money will go to payoff a $5 million deficit that accumulated over the past eight years, he said. 

He said he believes Kaiser has turned the corner and will continue to earn enough money-to meet its obligations without drawing on a heavy subsidy from its parent organization in California. 

The plan here, with 105,000 members, is part of the Kaiser-Permanente Medical Care Program. 

Kaiser-Permanente calls itself the nation's largest nongovernment provider of health care, serving more than three million members, most of. whom are in California.

Kaiser announced the improved financial picture at the same time it opened a $10.6 million, 88-bed addition at its Parma Medical Center, 12310 Snow Road.

 Kaiser provides total health care to its subscribers for monthly prepaid rates. Instead of being on a physician fee basis, Kaiser contracts with physicians who provide the service. 

A  Kaiser subscriber pays his monthly insurance bill, gets his health care and never sees a physician's bill. 

The Kaiser program started here in 1964 as the Community Health Foundation, an all-union-financed program to deliver health care. 

The unions turned its 20,000 member organization over to Kaiser in 1969 when it was faced with the need for expansion and capital investment. It had patterned itself after Kaiser in the first place.

Cleveland was Kaiser's first move away from the West,said Capener. "We wanted to see if our plan would work elsewhere, and it has."

Since 1969, Kaiser has .spent $37.5 million in building its hospitals and medical centers.
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Kaiser has become a big business in Cleveland. It employs 1,000 persons, Last year, Kaiser spent $13 million on payroll.   

There are 100 physicians who belong to Ohio Permanente Medical Group, and provide services
to Kaiser.

 Another $17 million was spent last year for supplies and equipment.   
 .
Ironically, the once union-dominated board of trustees is now nearly totally controlled by eight Kaiser officials. There is not one union official on the board. The only Cleveland community member is Lee C. Howley, a lawyer and retired vice president and general counsel of Cleveland Electric Iluminating Co. Howley has been on the board since the beginning. 

Capener said union officials serve on an advisory board with other community representatives. He said they last met two years ago.
    .     .
Before the federal law was changed to force employers to offer employes prepaid health insurance plans as an option to regular insurance programs, Kaiser relied on union officials to open the doors for them.
Many Cleveland union officials negotiated Kaiser as an option for their members.     

"Without the support of labor, Kaiser could not  have gotten off the ground here," said Phillip Welsh, Kaiser community services director and former official of Communication Workers of America, Welsh said half of Kaiser's members belong to unions. 

The father of Kaiser here is Sam Pollock, retired president of Meat Cutters District Union 427. Pollock joined with the late Cecil  B. Dunlap, former president, and David McDonald, the current president of Retail Store Employes Local 880 to raise the capital to start the plan. 

Pollock became such an expert in health care delivery while establishing what was called the Community Health Foundation, that when he retired four years ago he began teaching the subject in college.
He is still teaching at California State University, Northland, Calif.

In addition to Parma, Kaiser operates an 88 bed hospital at 11302 Fairhill Rd. SE; a 37-bed maternity and mental health hospital, formerly St. Ann Hospital, at 2475 East Blvd. SE, and a health center in 50 Severance Circle Building, Severance Shopping Center.  The East Side units are called the Kaiser Medical Center.
Carpener said there will be new buildings in the future.




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