H+H Briefs

Kaiser Permanente Northwest gets top nod

Kaiser Permanente Northwest was honored as one of America’s best health plans in 2008, according to a joint ranking by US News and World Report and the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Out of all of the plans ranked, it was the top-ranking commercial health plan and the top-ranking Medicare plan in Washington and Oregon

The rankings are based on quality, member satisfaction and NCQA accreditation.

Out of nearly 300 commercial health plans nationwide, KPN ranked 50th. Among all Medicare plans, its Medicare Advantage plan ranked 20th.

The rankings placed Kaiser Permanente with four of the top 50 commercial plans in the nation. Its plans were ranked No. 1 in five of the nine states in which KP does business.  

SWMC uses diamonds to pulverize plaque

Southwest Washington Medical Center is now able to offer the Diamondback 360, a catheter device that uses tiny diamonds to pulverize hardened or calcified plaque in arteries that carry blood from the heart to the legs and feet.

The hospital’s vascular surgeons are among the first in the Northwest to offer the service, according to SWMC.