Kaiser Permanente is an American integrated managed care consortium, based in Oakland, California, United States, founded in 1945 by industrialist Henry J. Kaiser and physician Sidney Garfield. Kaiser Permanente is made up of three distinct but interdependent groups of entities: the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and its regional operating subsidiaries; Kaiser Foundation Hospitals; and the regional Permanente Medical Groups. As of 2017, Kaiser Permanente operates in eight states and the District of Columbia, and is the largest managed care organization in the United States.
Kaiser Permanente is one of the largest nonprofit healthcare plans in the United States, with over 12 million members. It operates 39 hospitals and more than 700 medical offices, with over 300,000 personnel, including more than 80,000 physicians and nurses.
Each Permanente Medical Group operates as a separate for-profit partnership or professional corporation in its individual territory, and while none publicly reports its financial results, each is primarily funded by reimbursements from its respective regional Kaiser Foundation Health Plan entity. KFHP is one of the largest not-for-profit organizations in the United States.
KP's quality of care has been highly rated and attributed to a strong emphasis on preventive care, its doctors being salaried rather than paid on a fee-for-service basis, and an attempt to minimize the time patients spend in high-cost hospitals by carefully planning their stay. However, Kaiser has had disputes with its employees' unions, repeatedly faced civil and criminal charges for falsification of records and patient dumping, faced action by regulators over the quality of care it provided, especially to patients with mental health issues, and faced criticism from activists and action from regulators over the size of its cash reserves.