Intermountain's Approach to Successfully Implementing Shared Accountability

Intermountain's approach to successfully implementing Shared Accountability involves three key strategies:

  1. Redesigning care. Intermountain uses evidence-based medicine—treatments ​and procedures that have been proven effective—to deliver the right care, in the right setting, at the right time. We avoid under-treatment, over-treatment, and the misuse of resources.
  2. Engaging patients. We achieve better health for those we serve by promoting wellness and prevention. We help patients become more engaged in their health and in choices about their care.
  3. Aligning financial incentives. Intermountain is changing incentives by reducing the incentives to provide more volume of care and adding incentives to provide high quality and service. We also continue our traditional focus on efficiency, which helps us keep costs low. 

Redesigning care. Intermountain has demonstrated that in healthcare, higher quality often costs less. Patients have better medical outcomes and tend to experience fewer complications and readmissions. Using our vast data repositories, Intermountain Clinical Programs and Services teams are ramping up the development and consistent use of best practice standards. 

We design care to keep people well and return them to optimal health quickly and efficiently when they are sick or injured. Our focus on best standards increases patient access to effective care, decreases risk, and improves clinical outcomes.

Engaging patients. Patient engagement means patients are involved in their own health and care choices, and they interact meaningfully with caregivers. At Intermountain, best patient care involves care of the whole person. This includes mental, emotional and physical health, as well as lifestyle. 

At Intermountain, we engage patients in wellness and prevention decisions, and in choices about their care. We are developing  models of care to support patients in their unique circumstances. This includes tools patients can use to improve their overall health.

Patient Engagement is one of Intermountain’s six Dimensions of Care. We seek to provide extraordinary care to each patient and to involve them in decisions about their care.

Aligning financial incentives. Shared Accountability involves everyone in improving care: patients and health plan members, healthcare organizations, physicians, payers, and the community. Aligning financial incentives for all involved is key. 

Everyone benefits from high-quality, high-value care. We need a payment system that rewards hospitals and physicians for providing the right care rather than just more care. With this in mind, we are developing new models for compensating hospitals and physicians. These models are based on a combination of productivity, quality, service, and total cost of care. In addition, SelectHealth is designing health plan benefits that encourage members to consider financial impacts of their healthcare decisions. We also continue our traditional focus on efficiency, which helps us manage costs.

Intermountain is striving to contain the rise of healthcare costs over time. By 2016, Intermountain, with SelectHealth, has set a significant goal of achieving average annual rate increases closer to the general inflation rate and to offer health plan products that include Shared Accountability concepts to the commercial market.

Also, Intermountain is engaging leaders in both federal and state governments to improve the effectiveness of Medicare, Medicaid, and other government programs.​

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