Utah has the lowest personal healthcare costs in the United States — and the lowest hospital costs in the nation — according to an analysis published in April in The Wall Street Journal. Intermountain contributes significantly to these results. For example, our average charges tend to be lower than average charges at other Utah provider organizations.
Average per capita healthcare costs are $6,815 in the U.S., compared to $5,031 in Utah, the Journal found. The data were compiled in 2009 by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Utah's overall healthcare costs are 26 percent below the national average and 46 percent lower than Massachusetts, the highest-cost state, where per capita healthcare costs are $9,278.
Average hospital spending was $2,475 in the U.S. and $1,830 in Utah. In the U.S., hospital costs account for about 40 percent of total healthcare costs.
"I think we're successful in limiting our costs because of a combination of the healthier lifestyles of our people and more effective healthcare delivery," said Greg Poulsen, Intermountain Healthcare's Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer. "The data quoted by The Wall Street Journal support analyses we've seen from others and studies we've done that point to those causes."
The highest-spending states, according to the Journal, include Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York. Other lower-spending states include Arizona, Georgia, and Idaho.
"I think we've been successful in leading the charge to provide effective care," Poulsen said. "The whole focus of Clinical Programs and Shared Accountability is to help us give all the care that's necessary but none that isn't. Our effort to use best practices and outcomes-based medicine to provide the care that's best for the patient helps us provide neither too little nor too much care, and that helps our patients be healthy and keeps our costs low."
To see The Wall Street Journal's complete report, click here.