1. Looking ahead to changes in the healthcare environment, Intermountain is taking positive actions that are important to employees, patients, and everyone concerned with healthcare.
a. We're developing an overall strategy called Shared Accountability that will help physicians and Intermountain:
- Provide the highest quality healthcare.
- Emphasize wellness, prevention, and patient engagement in care.
- Appropriately manage costs.
2. The healthcare environment is changing due to a number of factors (e.g., reform legislation, aging population, cost pressures, changing technologies). While no one can predict all the changes with complete accuracy, Intermountain is working to shed light and find the best way forward.
a. Everyone should understand that the status quo is not an option, especially in view of federal and state budget pressures.
b. The rate of healthcare expenditure increases in our nation is rising at an unsustainable rate. Intermountain believes it has to do its part to help address the issue and seeks to be a leader locally and nationally.
3. We've designed an overarching strategy/approach to help position Intermountain for these changes.
a. We call it "Shared Accountability."
- This umbrella approach will include changes in many areas.
- Timeframe. We expect to introduce these changes over the next two to five years.
- Everyone helps. As the name suggests, every participant in healthcare delivery has a role to play in making healthcare the best that it can be, including patients, insurers, and employers, as well as doctors and hospitals.
b. Goals of our Shared Accountability approach: 1) better care (for patients); 2) better health (for the population we serve); and 3) sustainable costs (for patients and other payers).
c. Shared Accountability will help Intermountain continue to fulfill its mission of providing excellent healthcare to patients.
4. Quality improvement is the essence of our Shared Accountability approach.
a. This means supporting doctors in their efforts to determine and provide the right care personalized for each patient. By "right care" we mean:
- Encouraging treatments likely to be most effective based on the latest studies and the body of medical knowledge and evidence.
- Avoiding the three types of substandard care identified by the Institute of Medicine: over-treatment (doing too much); under-treatment (doing too little); and "misuse" of resources (making mistakes).
b. This builds on the foundation Intermountain has already laid with its Clinical Programs, Clinical Services, and focus on best practices.
c. Intermountain has demonstrated that this approach works.
- Call it the "healthcare quality paradox": In healthcare, higher quality not only improves patient outcomes; it also often results in lower costs, because there are fewer complications and readmissions.
5. Patient involvement in their care is an important part of Shared Accountability.
a. We'll provide extra counseling and preventive resources to help patients stay healthy, manage any chronic health problems (like diabetes and asthma).
b. We'll provide greater transparency as to treatment options (potential benefits, risks, and costs) so patients and physicians can make more informed decisions together.
6. We can work together — proactively — to take healthcare to a higher level of quality even as we slow the rise of costs.
a. Doing nothing is not an option, because eventually, rising costs will force cuts that are likely to result in some form of reduced access to care.