Salt Lake City, Utah — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a $9.7 million contract to Intermountain Healthcare as part of its Health Care Innovation Awards initiative.
Intermountain was awarded the three-year contract to further its work in transforming how healthcare is delivered to improve the quality of patient care while helping hold healthcare costs down. Medical cost savings from the three-year project are estimated at more than $67 million. Results and processes developed through this initiative will be reported and shared with other U.S. healthcare systems in collaboration with CMS.
The effort will accelerate Intermountain's nationally-recognized work toward developing a new care delivery model using information technology-based tools. For example, a computerized medical decision-support tool will help doctors and patients in a clinical setting decide together what treatments and care decisions will be most effective, considering each patient's medical history and health risks. Intermountain will further enhance its existing decision-support tool to include risk of depression. In addition, Intermountain will develop new ways to deliver population-based data to primary care doctors to help patients with chronic conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease. Other efforts will be directed toward testing a new payment model to better align financial performance incentives with patient results.
In support of this effort, Intermountain will train and hire 12 new workers in health information technology-related jobs, including research assistants, data analysts, data warehouse analysts, decision-support analysts, and a data architect, management engineer, and project coordinator.
"The way healthcare is delivered is changing," said Lucy Savitz, PhD, Director of Research and Education of Intermountain Healthcare's Institute for Health Care Delivery Research. "The solution to the continual economic pressures we face in healthcare is to focus on ways to improve the quality of the care provided. This award greatly accelerates our ability to put into practice new ways for patients to partner with clinical teams in making decisions that will reduce potential health risks; take a population-based view of care delivery design and decision making; and align financial incentives to insure sustained excellence in the care we are able to provide to our community."
Intermountain Healthcare is a Utah-based system of 22 nonprofit hospitals, 185 clinics, a Medical Group with some 900 employed physicians, a health plans division called SelectHealth, and other health services. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in clinical quality improvement and in efficient healthcare delivery.