Intermountain delivers high-quality outcomes for affordable costs – and it’s transforming the way healthcare is delivered.
CEO Marc Harrison, MD
The main innovation being pursued by Intermountain Healthcare — a Utah-based not-for-profit health system comprised of 24 hospitals, 215 clinics, 39,000 employees, 5,100 employed and affiliated physicians, and a health insurance company called SelectHealth — is to focus not just on healthcare, but on health.
Here’s an example: A woman in her 50s we’ll call Mary was coming repeatedly to an Intermountain emergency room for complications related to her diabetes. Why was she coming to the ER for something she could have easily managed at home? When the hospital’s staff asked her, they found her housing situation was unstable. As Mary moved between the homes of family members and friends, she sometimes left things behind, including her insulin, and as a result, her health suffered. “I’ll be fine when I get my insulin back,” she always thought to herself.
But she kept landing in the ER. By traditional standards, that’s how a hospital makes money. And the more services it provides, the more money it makes. People come into the ER, they get a CAT scan for $1,200, an MRI for $3,300, two days of inpatient care for $8,300 a day, etc.
But providing all those services — all that healthcare — for Mary wasn’t keeping her well. What she needed was a stable place to live. That’s what Intermountain’s team worked to provide — and that’s why Intermountain Healthcare is a founding member of the Utah Alliance for the Determinants of Health. The alliance is a collaboration between numerous community partners designed to proactively address forces such as chronic hunger, affordable housing, joblessness, personal safety, etc., that affect people’s health well before they come to a clinic or a hospital.
That’s one of the key innovations that make Intermountain unique. As one of the nation’s leading integrated health systems, a major part of its mission is to help keep people healthy by helping them avoid the medical problems that impair their quality of life.
“We’ll still focus on helping people when they’re in a car accident, have a heart attack, or get cancer,” says Marc Harrison, MD, Intermountain’s CEO. “But we have the opportunity to do that in conjunction with a ‘keep people well’ system. We’re still going to have great trauma programs, great heart surgery programs, great cancer care programs, and great neuro ICUs, but won’t it be terrific if we can actually keep people out of some of those places?”
Related strategies Intermountain Healthcare is pursuing:
Intermountain is widely recognized for providing high-quality care for affordable costs — and as a transformational leader in how healthcare is delivered. Its processes and programs have been praised by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, numerous medical and professional journals, and healthcare systems and providers around the world. The system’s innovations have also been recognized with honors including the Hearst Prize for Mental Health Integration, Hospitals & Health Networks’ “Most Wired” award, Microsoft’s Health Innovation Award, InformationWeek’s Elite 100 award for IT innovation, and many more.