Group Health Overview
Group Health provides medical coverage and care to around 600,000 residents in Washington state and North Idaho who are covered by health plans offered by Group Health Cooperative or its subsidiaries, Group Health Options, Inc., and KPS Health Plans. Nearly two-thirds of members receive care at Group Health Medical Centers.
Also see: Group Health Facts and Numbers
Group Health includes Group Health Cooperative (1947) and its research arm, the Group Health Research Institute (1983); Group Health Options, Inc. (1990); Group Health Foundation (1983); and Group Health Physicians (1997), with whom Group Health Cooperative has an exclusive contract.
These organizations and their staff members share a common purpose to transform health care, working together to improve the care and well-being of members, patients, and communities.
Group Health Cooperative
Group Health Cooperative began in 1947 as a community coalition dedicated to making quality health care available and affordable. Today it is one of the few health care organizations in the country governed by consumers. Its 11-member Board of Trustees — all health-plan members elected by other members — work closely with management and medical staff to ensure that the organization's policies and direction put the needs of patients first.
Also see: A Short History of Group Health
Group Health Cooperative, together with its subsidiary Group Health Options, Inc., operates in all or parts of 20 counties in Washington and two counties in North Idaho. In Washington, Group Health Cooperative offers coordinated-care plans for both groups and individuals and our Medicare Advantage plans.
Care is provided by Group Health Physicians doctors and other clinicians at Group Health-operated medical facilities. In service areas where Group Health doesn't own facilities and for plans offering more choice, a network of nearly 9,000 community clinicians and 41 hospitals meets member health care needs.
Group Health Options, Inc.
Group Health Options, Inc., was incorporated in 1990 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Group Health Cooperative. It offers a variety of health plans in Washington that provide choice and flexibility to meet the needs of large and small employers. These range from a defined physician-network plan to point-of-service plans in which members can get care from outside the network for higher out-of-pocket costs.
KPS Health Plans
In October 2005, Group Health Cooperative acquired KPS, a nonprofit health carrier based in Bremerton, Wash. KPS was founded in 1946. While it is a wholly owned subsidiary of Group Health Cooperative, KPS maintains a separate brand in the marketplace. KPS Health Plans offers preferred provider organization (PPO) plans and Medicare supplement plans.
Group Health Physicians
Group Health Physicians (GHP) is an American Medical Group Association Acclaim Award-winning medical group. GHP surgeons and hospitalists serve as medical staff at major Washington hospitals in Group Health's contracted network. GHP's doctors and clinicians include family practitioners, behavioral health physicians, eye care providers, a research faculty, and more than 700 specialists trained in more than 60 medical specialties and subspecialties.
After more than 50 years as Group Health staff, these doctors formed Group Health Permanente, an independent professional corporation, in 1997. The "doing business as" name of Group Health Physicians was adopted in 2010. Physicians have played a key role in Group Health's history and continue to oversee every aspect of clinical care and quality at Group Health Medical Centers. Their commitment to evidence-based medicine and prevention has shaped an approach to care at Group Health that focuses on the whole patient.
Group Health Research Institute
The Group Health Research Institute (GHRI) works to improve health and health care for everyone through leading-edge research, innovation, and dissemination. Funded primarily through government and private grants, the Institute is located in Seattle.
Since the Institute's founding, researchers have published more than 2,400 scientific journal articles — many of these collaborations with researchers from the University of Washington, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and other institutions. The Institute's research has helped Group Health become a national leader in areas such as health information technology, behavioral health, breast cancer screening, immunization, chronic disease management, and the medical home approach to primary care.
Group Health Foundation
Group Health Foundation supports Group Health Cooperative in providing the best care for its members and creating better health in our communities. The Foundation uses grant making, school outreach, fundraising, and strategic partnerships to develop and test care innovations for children and their families at Group Health Medical Centers.
Group Health and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan work together in areas such as marketing to regional and national customers, sharing best clinical practices, and full-service member reciprocity.
In May 2011, Group Health Medical Centers became a network affiliate of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, a world-class cancer treatment center.