Kaiser Urgent Care Permanente Plan

By: RandyYoumans

Kaiser Urgent Care Permanente is an inclusive network that makes it easy to get health care. It includes primary care providers and specialty care providers as well as lab and pharmacy. All of these facilities are conveniently located at 26 Kaiser Permanente medical centers in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

The Kaiser Urgent Care Permanente Plan

Kaiser Permanente was established over 70 years ago to provide affordable, high-quality health care services to the community they serve. Kaiser Permanente providers collaborate within the Kaiser Permanente plan, making it easier to receive quality, coordinated care.

Kaiser Permanente requires that you use kaiser urgent care Permanente providers. There are no out of network benefits, and Emory providers cannot be used. They make it simple! You can access your electronic health record to instantly connect with 600+ providers and get personalized, safe care. Because it all connects, you don’t need to coordinate with specialists, pharmacies or hospitals. Most specialists can be seen without the need for a referral. Kaiser Permanente providers are also available.

Kaiser Permanente plans don’t require you to pay a deductible, co-insurance or visit your provider in person. Instead, you only have to pay a copay.

You can receive care by phone or via video chat the same day. Kaiser Permanente offers telehealth services, including phone, email, and video consultations. There is no co-pay.


As a way of controlling health care costs and coordinating patient care, hospitals across the country have partnered with doctors and insurers linked by an electronic health record. This model of care was developed and refined by systems like Intermountain Healthcare, Geisinger Health System, Pennsylvania, Henry Ford Health System, Michigan, and Oakland-based Kaiser Permanente.

This exclusive Q&A session was held with JUCM-The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine. Peter A. King, MD, will discuss the operational models, capabilities, and connectivity of urgent care in America’s largest managed-care organization, with more than 9.5 million members, 17,000 doctors, 174,000 employees and 650 hospitals and medical offices. It also covers outpatient facilities in eight US states and the District of Columbia.

Dr. Neri serves as Regional Physician-In Charge of Urgent Care for Kaiser Permanente Southern California. Dr. King is the Physician kaiser urgent care Director of Acute Care Services at Kaiser Permanente Georgia.

Alan Ayers: What is the current state of Kaiser Permanente’s urgent care, including its locations, hours and clinical capabilities, as well as staffing models?

Michael Neri: Our Kaiser Permanente urgent care model is different depending on the local needs and whether or not we have any hospitals in the region. To give a complete overview of Kaiser Permanente’s urgent care model, Dr. Peter King, my colleague, and I will talk about how Kaiser Permanente provides urgent care in Kaiser Permanente Southern California, and Kaiser Permanente Georgia. Our urgent care centers have highly qualified Kaiser Permanente nurses and doctors, regardless of where members are located. Our main goal is to offer members convenient access to high-quality and coordinated care.

Kaiser Permanente Southern California offers walk-in access at 19 locations. These locations are open in the morning, evening and evening hours, seven days a week. Our urgent care locations have a greater capacity than traditional community flu and cold “urgent care” models. Patients with moderate-to-severe acuity conditions, as well as medical and surgical concerns, can be provided care by us. A higher-acuity urgent center offers members convenience and access. Members do not have to be kaiser urgent care transferred to an emergency department to receive treatment.

Peter King: Kaiser Permanente Georgia has an Advanced Care Center (ACC) model. An ACC is an emergency facility that is located in a Comprehensive Medical Center. This medical office offers full services, including high-tech radiology and cardiac stress testing. The ACC provides high-acuity, immediate care. It is staffed by board-certified emergency doctors and nurses who are also ER-trained. The ACC is intended to provide immediate care but can also be used to treat more serious emergencies. An on-site pharmacy supplies intravenous (IV), medications that are commonly found in an ER. This includes equipment for central IV lines and cardiac monitors. Our kaiser urgent care are available 24 hours a days, 365 days a calendar.

Alan Ayers: How can urgent care help increase access to and reduce medical costs in Kaiser Permanente’s integrated care model?

Michael Neri: Our members have an alternative option for urgent care when they require it quickly. It is a vital part of providing medical care to members who need immediate medical attention, even if they do not have an urgent medical condition. The care provided is of the same quality as that in our Emergency Department but at a much lower cost to our members.

Peter King: Our ACCs provide a key driver for increased access and lower costs for members who have acute medical needs but do not need ER care. Patients can be treated in an outpatient setting with ACCs. This is more convenient and often more effective. We can treat many conditions, including transient ischemic attacks, atrial fibrillation and chest pain. Patients with chest pain are routinely evaluated. We rule out acute heart attacks, observe overnight, and then conduct stress testing the following morning. Patients who require hospitalization can be quickly stabilized and transferred.

Alan Ayers: What does Kaiser Permanente do to coordinate or ensure follow-up with a specialist or primary care provider after a patient presents for urgent treatment with a new medical diagnosis. What role does Kaiser Permanente’s consolidated health record play in ensuring continuity?

Michael Neri: Kaiser Permanente’s EHR, KP kaiser urgent care is vital in maintaining continuity of care. All primary care and specialty providers have immediate access to all patient encounters in urgent care. Standard protocols have been established to ensure that patients can be connected to specialist care and primary care as required.

Alan Ayers: What does Kaiser do to educate its members about urgent care and how they can be used? Are there incentives, such as communication via PCPs or employer marketing, to encourage Kaiser Permanente members to move away from the ER and to lower-acuity settings?

Michael Neri, We launched an education campaign to explain to members how, when, and where they may access urgent care.

Peter King: We are focused on providing the best care possible, at the right place and time to meet each patient’s needs. We don’t offer any incentives. A visit to the ER may not be the best option in many cases. Based on patients’ condition and preferences, we have procedures in place that can help them find a better venue. This could be an appointment at the office, a visit with the ACC or advice by telephone.

Alan Ayers: The nation’s health system is shifting from fee-for service to integrated models and outcomes-based payments. What can the urgent care sector learn from Kaiser Permanente?

Peter King: As the nation shifts towards more integrated and outcomes-based care delivery models, we believe the urgent care model is going to play an important role. I believe that high-acuity, urgent care will be as widespread as traditional, low-acuity care. This model bridges the gap between the hospital and the medical office, providing patients with high-quality outpatient treatment. This model has proven to be effective in improving patient satisfaction, quality and service. It also makes care more affordable for members.


Kaiser Permanente’s integrated health system is defined by its ownership of hospitals, physician offices, and insurance. Financial incentives that align clinical outcomes and medical costs with population health and financial incentives that coordinate primary and specialist care through electronic health records are some of the key features of Kaiser Permanente’s. These are the same driving principles for the March 2010 health reform legislation that authorized ACAs. Drs. Drs. Neri and King show that if a patient’s condition and the treatment facility’s capabilities match, it is possible to avoid unnecessary ER visits, thus supporting the integration system’s goals for quality and efficiency.