Kaiser Permanente offers expanded services

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The Colorado Springs Business Journal scheduled medical facilities as the focus for this Health Care Quarterly. As it turns out, the timing is ideal for Kaiser Permanente.

We recently announced plans to greatly expand our services and health plan offerings in Southern Colorado. One of our medical facilities will play an integral role in these expansion plans — the Briargate Medical Offices in Colorado Springs.

Kaiser Permanente’s expansion efforts locally include opening the Briargate Medical Offices to members of all ages, adding specialty care, opening new medical offices and offering more affordable health plan options.

Why did we decide to initiate this expansion? More than 56,000 of our 565,000 members live in Colorado Springs, Pueblo and surrounding communities. In order to better serve these and future members, Kaiser Permanente’s Southern Colorado expansion will offer greater choice while maintaining our top quality standards and commitment to affordability.

We began last month by removing the age restriction for primary care at Briargate Medical Offices. Care at this facility was previously limited to members ages 55 and older. Located directly across from Memorial Hospital North, the Briargate Medical Offices offer primary care services (including family medicine and internal medicine), some specialty care, laboratory services, pharmacy and routine medical imaging.

Kaiser Permanente is now offering specialty care in Colorado Springs for the first time.

Allergy care is currently available and other specialties, including pediatrics, dermatology, rheumatology and adult medical genetics, will be phased in later this year. Additional specialties will be introduced within the next few years.

By offering comprehensive health care services under one roof at the Briargate Medical Offices, our members are able to take care of many of their health care needs at one place. Kaiser Permanente’s unique integrated care delivery system leverages the highly coordinated patient care delivered at our medical offices with a sophisticated system of electronic health records. All of our members have access to a personal health record, My Health Manager, where they can securely email their Kaiser Permanente physicians, make or change appointments and renew prescriptions. This system allows patients to take an active role in managing their health.

Construction on new Kaiser Permanente medical offices in Southern Colorado will take place over the next several years. We will announce the number of facilities, locations and opening dates at a later date. As our services increase, Kaiser Permanente is developing new, more affordable plan options for employer groups, families and individuals in Southern Colorado.

For over 17 years, affiliated medical providers in this community have helped Kaiser Permanente efficiently and successfully serve our members. Moving forward, members will continue to have access to Kaiser Permanente physicians and a network of affiliated providers.

“This is an ambitious expansion plan,” said Dr. Richard Spurlock, Kaiser Permanente’s Southern Colorado medical director. “It means that more of our Southern Colorado members will benefit from Kaiser Permanente’s integrated care delivery system that leverages technology with collaborative care teams, including our trusted affiliated providers, to help them be as healthy as they can be.”

We remain firmly committed to delivering care that is tailored to the needs of Southern Colorado. Kaiser Permanente recently announced a new partnership with the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization, which will allow for enhanced care coordination and improved quality of care through health information exchange with Southern Colorado hospitals. We have also launched other innovative, personalized programs to meet the needs of our members, including Kaiser Permanente Hospital Medicine at Memorial Central and North Hospitals and Kaiser Permanente Care Connections.

With this exciting news, we look forward to expanding our offerings of affordable, high-quality health care at the Kaiser Permanente Briargate Medical Offices and throughout the Southern Colorado region.

Holly Kortum serves as Kaiser Permanente’s executive director of operations in Southern Colorado.