Kaiser Permanente CEO to retire

By BenefitsPro

By Kathryn Mayer

Kaiser Permanente CEO George Halvorson said Thursday he'll retire in December 2013.

Halvorson, who's served as chairman and CEO of the giant intergrated health care system since 2002, says he’s announcing his retirement a full year prior to his departure to ensure an effective transition to his successor. His successor will take over the company just as it moves into 2014, when the major provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act go into effect.

Kaiser says it will begin searching for a new leader.

Under Halvorson’s leadership, Kaiser Permanente has grown to serve more than 9 million members, pioneered electronic health records and is often seen as a model for the future of health care.

Halvorson led the decision to implement Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect a decade ago, an enterprise-wide electronic health record system. KP HealthConnect now is the largest nongovernmental system in the world, supporting the transformation of care delivery and connecting caregivers and patients in new ways. The Oakland, Calif.-based company said in the first half of 2012, members securely viewed 16.7 million laboratory results, exchanged 6.8 million emails with their Kaiser Permanente caregivers and refilled 5.6 million prescriptions online.

“Kaiser Permanente has been a great place to work for me,” Halvorson, 65, said in statement. “We have done a lot of good things and we continue to make progress in a lot of areas.”

Halvorson has a long list of honors to his name. Earlier this year, he was named No. 6 on Modern Healthcare's annual 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare list.

Kaiser continually receives high marks on patient satisfaction and health care quality. Among other accomplishments during his tenure, Kaiser cited the opening of seven new hospitals and 180 medical office buildings/clinics, the Sidney R. Garfield Health Care Innovation Center in San Leandro—a testing site for new ideas—and the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health in Washington, D.C.

Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Halvorson was president and chief executive officer of HealthPartners, headquartered in Minneapolis, for nearly 18 years.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com