Kaiser-Permanente to open

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<B>By LAUREY LUMMUS</B> <FONT SIZE=-1><I>Staff Reporter</I></FONT>

The number of health maintenance organizations in Colorado Springs is growing,with Kaiser-Permanente announcing it will be opening a branch in ColoradoSprings as early as next month.

Kaiser-Permanente is the oldest and largest group practice HMO in Colorado,serving clients since 1969.

The company will not build its own facility, but has agreed to contract witha physician group and hospital in Colorado Springs to assist its members.

Kathryn Paul, president of Kaiser Permanente’s Rocky Mountain Division, saidthe expansion will help the HMO meet and surpass the competition. Paul addedthe HMO will not use a traditional group practice model. Instead, it willemploy a network model HMO, which is why the organization is contractingwith a physician’s group.

The company either will refer its clients to either Memorial Hospital orCentura (Penrose-St. Francis). The decision on which hospital the HMO exclusivelywill use will be made this fall.

Membership enrollment for the HMO is expected to begin in mid-1997.

The inclusion of Kaiser-Permanente will make the HMO the second largest HMOprovider in the Springs. The top ranked HMO is FHP Health Care.

Kaiser-Permanente’s 1995 reported revenue was in excess of $500 million.