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Providing high quality care at lower costs?

The New York Times highlights Intermountain Healthcare and SelectHealth

We’re fundamentally changing everything.
— Patricia R. Richards, SelectHealth CEO
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, USA, February 23, 2016 / -- For decades, the big news story in healthcare has been increasing costs and premiums that consumers and employers struggle to pay for. But The New York Times’ Reed Abelson recently wrote about Intermountain Healthcare and its SelectHealth insurance plans’ innovative approach to lowering costs while providing high-quality care.

And these are not just little savings in prescriptions or doctor visits, but savings to the tune of $2 billion over the next five years—savings that remain in the community in the form of lower premiums and other lower costs to consumers and businesses. In her article, Abelson says, “Health systems and insurers are closely watching Intermountain’s rollout. It has established itself as a leading health system by tracking and analyzing costs and the quality of patient care, allowing it to improve treatments and reduce unnecessary expenses.”

One way Intermountain looks to address this is through a new insurance plan called SelectHealth Share. “This is not a repackaging of the same old stuff,” Patricia R. Richards, SelectHealth chief executive officer said. “We’re fundamentally changing everything.” By involving the patient, the providers (physician and healthcare system) and the payer (insurer) in the entire process from prevention to appropriate care, SelectHealth expects to keep costs and premium increases stable.

The article details how doctors under the new SelectHealth insurance plan agree to share information on outcomes, and choose evidence-based procedures that emphasize quality and affordability rather than just the number of procedures or visits. Employers agree to offer coverage that workers can afford and agree to longer-term contracts to enable hospitals and doctors to work with patients to promote health. And patients agree to take more responsibility for living healthy lifestyles and to use needed preventive benefits, such as colonoscopies or mammograms.

Patients and employers benefit, because SelectHealth Share provides a guaranteed premium increase of only four percent in years two and three of a three-year contract.

Intermountain knows the importance of providing extraordinary care and superior service at an affordable cost. Many thought leaders are following Intermountain’s efforts as a model health system that is indeed helping people live the healthiest lives possible.

Intermountain Healthcare is a Utah-based, not-for-profit system of 22 hospitals, 185 clinics, a Medical Group with some 1,400 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health plans division called SelectHealth, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in clinical quality improvement and in efficient healthcare delivery. For more information about Intermountain, visit, read our blogs at, connect with us on Twitter at and on Facebook at

Daron Cowley
Intermountain Healthcare
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