Group Health Cooperative gives new meaning to the term "consumer-driven health care." The organization is a not-for-profit managed health care group serving more than a half a million residents of Washington and Northern Idaho. Governed by a board elected by its members, the co-op offers health insurance through its Group Health Options and KPS Health Plans subsidiaries, and it also provides medical care at its own facilities. It maintains a partnership with Group Health Permanente, a multispecialty medical group that provides care in those facilities. The co-op also partners with Kaiser Permanente to market its services, share knowledge, and offer reciprocal membership benefits.
Members may participate in a variety of group and individual health plans. Specialized services include mental health and substance abuse treatment, hospice services, women's health care, and emergency medicine. Group Health also offers Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans, as well as state-funded health plans for low-income Washington residents.
Along with providing health care coverage to its members, Group Health operates more two dozen of its own primary care medical centers as well as a handful of specialty care and behavioral care units. It also owns a Seattle-area hospital (Central Hospital) and contracts with hospitals in other communities to provide care. It operates a family medicine residency with the University of Washington Family Medicine Network. In total Group Health employees about 1,000 physicians who offer 75 specialties and sub-specialties.
The system's Group Health Research Institute engages in both government-funded and private grant-funded medical research with an emphasis on epidemiology and disease prevention. The Group Health Research Institute received about $42 million in 2010 to further its insight into its research studies. The institute has about 350 employees.
Some of Group Health's clients include The Boeing Company, the Cities of Seattle and Spokane, Comcast, Microsoft, Seattle School District, and United Airlines, among others. In 2011, Group Health Medical Centers became a network affiliate of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, a world-class cancer treatment center to share knowledge, resources, and research results regarding cancer care.
Group Health Cooperative opened its doors in 1947. – less