As Intermountain Medical Center & LDS Hospital were Named National Medical Destinations of Excellence by EdisonHealth, Organ Transplant Patients from Across the U.S. will Come to Utah for Care

Jess Gomez



Patients from across the United States who need organ transplants will soon be coming to Utah for transplant surgery as part of a new landmark partnership.

Intermountain Healthcare’s Intermountain Medical Center in Murray and LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City have been selected as “Medical Destinations of Excellence” by EdisonHealth, a national company that helps large employers in the United States provide specialized, complex care to their employees.

EdisonHealth Network will provide access to heart, valve, spine, and transplant care to companies with 10,000 or more employees and some smaller employer groups. The result: Employees who need complex transplant procedures will come to Intermountain Medical Center, LDS Hospital, and other integrated health systems that provide high-quality and highly-efficient care.

Intermountain Medical Center’s Transplant Program and LDS Hospital’s Bone Marrow Transplant Program have high survival rates and were cited as a national model for their excellent care and outcomes.

EdisonHealth was formed by a former Walmart executive who helped establish a similar program for Walmart employees in 2012. Under the program, Walmart employees who need complex care can travel to designated hospitals without paying any out-of-pocket costs.

The selected hospitals offer evidence-based care proven to result in better outcomes and fewer complications, and they’re geographically diverse to make travel easy. Walmart pays for travel, lodging, and food for the patient and a loved one. The result: The employees get better care and Walmart controls its healthcare costs. The EdisonHealth contract with Intermountain works the same way.

“The program is based on the premise Intermountain Healthcare has pioneered, which is that better care costs less,” says Laura Kaiser, Intermountain’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “Evidence-based medicine and best practices help us deliver excellent clinical outcomes without the variation and waste that reduce quality and increase costs. That’s what Walmart saw when it established its program — and that’s the whole idea behind what EdisonHealth is doing.”

EdisonHealth’s strategy is to partner with health systems and hospitals that focus on high-quality care and are committed to offering a multi-disciplinary, team-based approach to care, according to Tom Emerick, a co-founder of EdisonHealth and former Vice President of Benefits for Walmart.

“The emphasis of our clinical partners is appropriateness,” adds Emerick. “Let’s make sure the diagnosis is correct and the treatment is appropriate. Then, when surgery is needed, these are some of the best places in the world to receive it.”

Intermountain Healthcare’s Transplant Program offers some of the nation’s best survival rates and highly regarded, experienced clinical teams. The program includes heart, kidney, liver, and pancreas transplants at Intermountain Medical Center and bone marrow transplantation, which is performed at LDS Hospital.

“Our agreement with EdisonHealth is not only a validation of Intermountain Healthcare’s philosophy of better care for lower costs, but it’s a great reflection of the skill of our transplant team,” says David Grauer, administrator of Intermountain Medical Center. “Our transplant program is one of the top programs in the nation, and the members of our team are well known for their commitment, experience, and clinical expertise.”

“This is the latest in a long list of professional honors our Bone Marrow Transplant Unit has earned,” says Jim Sheets, administrator of LDS Hospital. “Our people are highly respected by their peers across the nation, and they’re extraordinary in providing compassion and empathy to the patients and families they serve, many of whom are in the unit for extended periods of time.”

Four other hospitals are included in EdisonHealth’s national network, including Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania; Mercy Hospital Springfield in Springfield, Missouri; Oklahoma Heart Hospital in Oklahoma City; and Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle.
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