SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Intermountain Healthcare and five other prominent healthcare organizations in the United States have announced a first-of-its-kind nationwide collaboration dedicated to implementing two key priorities — improving clinical quality while reducing costs — in ways that can be implemented on a broad scale by other healthcare providers across the country.
Who’s in the collaborative and how will it work? Intermountain joins Cleveland Clinic, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Denver Health, Geisinger Health System, and Mayo Clinic in a collaborative that will work with the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice to share data on outcomes, quality, and costs across a range of common and costly conditions and treatments.
Initially, the group will look at knee replacements, which are performed more than 300,000 times a year in the U.S. for an average cost that ranges from $16,000 to $24,000 per surgery. Then they’ll identify best practices for diabetes, heart failure, asthma, weight loss surgery, labor and delivery, spine surgery, and depression. These eight conditions were chosen because they show wide variation in both quality and outcomes. Work on diabetes and heart failure care will begin early this year.
For each of the eight conditions, the group will determine best practices, which produce the best possible clinical outcomes for the lowest possible cost. After identifying those best practices, they can make practical recommendations to help providers and health systems across the United States improve their care and lower their costs.
The Wall Street Journal says the focus of the new consortium of role-model providers works like this: “If only the rest of the country could deliver the kind of high-quality, low-cost medical care that such organizations as the Mayo Clinic and Intermountain Healthcare provide, America’s healthcare problems would be solved. But unlike viruses, best healthcare practices aren’t contagious. For reasons of culture, economics, training, and commitment (to name a few), there’s a wide variation in the quality of care, patient outcomes, and cost of services in the U.S. despite high-profile examples of providers who generally get it right.
“Now six of these organizations are joining forces in a new effort to compile evidence on — and then encourage the rest of the system to adopt — the strategies that work best against a variety of common and costly medical conditions…The organizations, which serve a total of more than 10 million people, are sharing data and clinical protocols to determine the most cost-effective treatment strategies. They plan to disseminate their findings to health systems around the U.S.”
“The intractable problems of quality and cost cannot be solved without getting to the fundamental issue of how we deliver healthcare in this country,” says Brent James, MD, Intermountain’s chief quality officer and executive director of the Intermountain Institute for Healthcare Delivery Research. “By collaborating to gather data and identify the most effective care models, we can address variation in treatment, cost, and outcomes to give patients the quality care they need and bend the cost curve down in a meaningful way.”
Intermountain Healthcare is one of the leading healthcare systems in the nation.