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Kaiser’s 2019 growth should help expand former CEO Bernard Tyson’s legacy of investing in communities

February 11, 2020, 1:04 AM UTC

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Happy Monday, readers. I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

Kaiser Permanente suffered an unexpected loss in 2019. Not in the financial sense—in fact, the nonprofit health system nearly tripled its net income between 2018 and 2019.

This was a much deeper, and profound, loss. Last October, longtime CEO Bernard Tyson suddenly passed away in his sleep at the age of 60.

The news hit the medical community hard. I met Tyson on a number of occasions, and the sorrow following his untimely death is unsurprising—he was one of the kindest and most thoughtful health care leaders I’ve ever spoken with.

No matter what you thought of his ideas, you were bound to be impressed and inspired by how much he cared about the communities Kaiser served (for a much more eloquent and thoughtful reflection on Tyson, please read my colleague and Fortune editor-in-chief Clifton Leaf’s remembrance of him).

It feels a bit weird to talk about financials given this still-recent history. But Kaiser, which has a network of both health plans and hospitals, pulled off the unlikely feat of tripling its net income between 2018 and 2019 (from $2.5 billion to $7.4 billion).

Revenues swelled from about $80 billion to $85 billion. That stems from a combination of robust investments and operational returns. Since Kaiser is a nonprofit, a swell in its profits means more money for such investments. And the organization’s new leadership has previously sworn to carry on Tyson’s legacy of investing in community health, mental health, and digital health programs.

Last year’s impressive numbers will, hopefully, help Kaiser live up to that legacy.

Read on for the day’s news.

Sy Mukherjee


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Wuhan aims to test all suspected coronavirus cases by Tuesday. The Chinese city of Wuhan is aiming to have all suspected cases of the new coronavirus outbreak tested by Tuesday, the country's government said on Monday. On the same day, authorities reported that the global death toll from the respiratory illness has surpassed 1,000, and while the outbreak is still overwhelmingly affecting China, international health agencies must be vigilant, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). (Reuters


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