Intermountain Healthcare leaders deliver report on cost of health care

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Leaders from Intermountain Healthcare delivered an annual report on the cost of health care Friday.

The organization outlined how it’s changing its model to stay strong and stable for future generations, engaging in many innovations and changing healthcare to help make it more affordable.

The report also hits on the opioid epidemic.

“Over the last two years 2017 till now we’ve reduced over 6 million opioid tablets in the state of Utah where we serve,” Rob Allen, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Intermountain said.

Highlights of the presentation included:

  • 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 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.

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