Business & Tech

December 5, 2012

Keiser Permanente’s “Mr. Thrive”

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Written by: The Maroon Tiger

Recently announced to the world, Keiser Permanente’s president and chief operating officer Bernard Tyson will be taking over retiring CEO George Halvorson’s position as the head of Kaiser Permanente. In the upcoming year he will be the head of the largest nonprofit insurer in the U.S.

Halvorson has worked at Kaiser for an astounding 28 years, directing the hospitals nonprofit system and leading the development of Kaiser’s “Thrive” advertising campaign. Tyson will join the company’s board of directors close to the end of next month and assume Halverson’s position at the end of 2013.

Keiser Permanente, mainly based in Oakland, Calif., had $47.9 billion in revenue, according to its online records, while covering over nine million people in the last year, mainly in the West Coast. Keiser has 37 hospitals in California, Oregon, and Hawaii.

Kaiser employs 17,000 physicians, and has an integrated system in which one commodity delivers health care and pays for bills. This theme was a model for the U.S health-care-overtake that encourages everyone to make healthcare more available and dependable to everyone.

“As we continue down the path of health-care reform and the transformation of the health-care industry, I am excited about leading an organization so committed to high-quality and affordable care for everyone,” Tyson said in a statement.

In the upcoming year Tyson will be taking over the development of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. Starting in 2014, the Affordable Health Care Act will be fully implemented. New insurance markets will open up, titled “exchanges,” in every state.

The joint federal-state program for the less privileged citizens of America will expand nationwide to cover people earning close to poverty wages. The projections believe that 30 million people are expected to gain coverage. Kaiser expects to offer exchange plans in every state where it operates, Tyson said.

“Clearly there’s a lot of unknowns right now as we think about all the changes happening in the industry,” he said. “One of the biggest challenges is making sure that we continue to contribute to the evolving landscape for health care in this country.”

Not being on the Fortune 500 because of Keiser being a nonprofit does not show how Kaiser is ranked No. 3 on the 2012 Diversity Inc. Top 50 companies for Diversity list. Naming an African American as the lead figure of a major organization is a significant step to a new diverse directive for all companies.

According to relevant statistics, currently only 1.2 percent of Fortune 500 companies have African-American CEOs, compared to 4 percent of the DiversityInc Top 50.

As a last remark Tyson stated in an interview the legacy of Halvorson creating the most diverse top of the line organization: “My job is to build on that and leverage the great strength of the diversity as we continue to deal with very complex problems in this country and the healthcare system.”


Alexander Tyson
Contributing Writer

About the Author

The Maroon Tiger
Award-winning student news organization of Morehouse College. The organ of student expression since 1925!



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