[June 19, 2019] SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution June 18 in support of state legislation that would require healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente to operate under the same price reporting requirements as other hospitals and insurance companies in California, and in turn give the city the information it needs to negotiate better agreements when purchasing health insurance for its more than 30,000 employees.
“[SB 343] will create parity in data reporting across California’s healthcare industry, in the expectation that uniform data reporting will more fully inform health insurance purchasing decisions by the City and County of San Francisco and all other purchasers in the City and County,” reads the resolution co-sponsored by Supervisors Gordon Mar, Aaron Peskin, Vallie Brown, Matt Haney and Hillary Ronen.
SB 343 would require Kaiser Permanente to provide the same data as other insurance companies to justify increases in health insurance premiums. It would also require the company to provide pricing information on an individual hospital level, as opposed to its current practice of lumping data for all hospitals into two regions: Northern California and Southern California. Breaking out pricing by facility in San Francisco, for example, would help employers and consumers make smarter choices about obtaining quality healthcare, and make it easier for them to negotiate favorable rates when purchasing health insurance.
Kaiser controls one in ten California hospitals and more than 40 percent of insured Californians with group healthcare coverage.
SB 343 is supported by a coalition of healthcare, consumer, business and worker advocates, including the Silicon Valley Employers Forum, the Small Business Majority, Health Access California, the California Labor Federation and SEIU California.
More than 55,000 Kaiser Permanente employees in California are members of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW). Their contract with Kaiser Permanente expires Sept. 30, 2019.