Salt Lake City, UT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 11/18/2019 -- In its annual report to the community, Intermountain Healthcare's leaders said the organization is making strides to improve care and make it more affordable for patients and communities.
On Friday in a presentation to 400 community and healthcare officials in Salt Lake City, Intermountain leaders outlined how the organization is changing its model of healthcare delivery to stay strong and stable for future generations, and also engaging in many innovations.
Bert Zimmerli, Intermountain's executive vice president and chief financial officer, pointed out that healthcare nationally – and in Utah – is too expensive. He said nationally, one-third of consumers ration their prescription drugs, one-quarter skip needed care, and three-fourths think they pay too much for care. He outlined how Intermountain is changing its model of healthcare delivery to help make it more affordable.
Rob Allen, Intermountain's senior vice president and chief operating officer, shared examples of innovations such as Intermountain's telehealth services that have helped with 710,000 patient visits. More than 40 different Intermountain telehealth services are available and are being used by hospitals in seven western states, typically with improved medical outcomes and at a lower cost for patients.
Highlights of the presentation included:
- Intermountain has a strong focus on preventive care to keep people healthy and make care more affordable.
- Intermountain is taking the approach of "moving upstream" to improve health in the community. This includes a multi-year $12 million partnership with local agencies to address social determinants of health such as adequate housing, transportation, access to healthy foods, and education.
- Intermountain is making medical care more affordable in multiple ways:
- Intermountain joined with other not-for-profit healthcare systems and philanthropies to lead the creation of a new Utah-based not-for-profit generic drug company called Civica Rx to battle skyrocketing drug prices and shortages. Fourteen medications will be available by the end of 2019.
- Intermountain Connect Care offers a telehealth virtual visit with a healthcare provider for only $49.
- In 2019, SelectHealth, Intermountain's health insurance arm, was able to reduce monthly premiums an average of 2.7 percent for those with coverage through the health insurance exchange.
- Charity care for residents in the Intermountain region provides needed services at no cost – or low cost – to qualifying individuals and families. In 2018, in 269,000 visits, care valued at $246 million, was provided.
- Intermountain has reduced the number of prescribed opioid pills for acute conditions by more than 6.3 million since 2017.
- This year, Intermountain joined with Healthcare Partners-Nevada to add 55 clinics in southern Nevada to the organization. Intermountain now operates 24 hospitals, 215 clinics, and employs 2,500 physicians and advanced care practitioners in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada.
- Plans for an expanded focus on providing increased access to medical services for children to dramatically improve the health of kids in the region.
- Collaboration with deCode of Iceland to sequence the DNA of 500,000 individuals with hopes of finding new ways to treat and cure chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
About Intermountain Healthcare
Intermountain Healthcare is a not-for-profit system of 24 hospitals, 215 clinics, a Medical Group with 2,500 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services in Idaho, Utah, and Nevada. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes and sustainable costs. For more information, see intermountainhealthcare.org.
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