Intermountain continually demonstrates that improving clinical quality also makes care more affordable—because when care is provided in the right way, fewer complications, readmissions, and other adverse outcomes occur.

Working Upstream

Our caregivers work with people “upstream”—before they become patients—to help them stay as healthy as possible and reduce their need for care. When they do require treatment, we provide it in the most effective ways possible, giving special help to patients with special needs (like chronic illnesses). After episodes of acute illness, we work with patients “downstream” to help them recover as effectively as possible.


We also operate efficiently, relentlessly pursuing ways to improve processes and reduce costs. For example, our Supply Chain—recently ranked No. 1 in the nation—has helped us achieve a radically lower cost structure, with more than $600 million in savings over the last decade.

Cost Savings

The result has been significantly lower costs for our patients and communities—as much as $2 billion in savings over the last five years. In 2016 alone, the amount we billed was $700 million less than we would have billed had we not transformed the way we provide care.

Intermountain has succeeded in “bending the cost curve”: We have reduced the total cost of care, and we leave significantly more money in the hands of our patients, businesses, and communities. Our efforts were noted in The New York Times in a 2016 article titled, “A Novel Plan for Health Care: Cutting Costs, Not Raising Them”—an approach described as “something virtually unheard of” in healthcare.

National Media Highlights


“A Novel Plan for Health Care: Cutting Costs, Not Raising Them”

Intermountain Healthcare and its insurance arm, SelectHealth, are cutting costs and adding value in innovative ways—and passing the savings along to consumers.


“The Case for Capitation”

In HBR’s Fixing Health Care issue, Intermountain leaders Dr. Brent C. James and Gregory P. Poulsen make the case for capitated payment as a path to value-based care. They say this approach is the most effective way to incentivize healthcare providers to provide best care.


“Integrated Behavioral and Primary Care – What Is the Real Cost?”

Intermountain Healthcare recognized more than 20 years ago that most patients with mental illness received care in medical settings rather than mental health settings. This led to an increasing focus on the integration of mental health diagnosis and treatment in primary care settings at Intermountain. The results of the study document the value of an integrated approach to mental health and chronic disease care.


“The Big Tent of Value-Based Care Has Room for Big Pharma”

Rising spending on prescription drugs raises an important question: As payers and providers work together to improve value in healthcare, will pharmaceutical companies join that effort, or will they act as vendors that merely maximize short-term profits for shareholders? Achieving value-based care is difficult when some stakeholders operate outside the tent. Providers, payers, and patients are waiting with open arms for drug companies to come inside.


“Turning Value-Based Care into a Real Business Model”

Intermountain and other leading health systems are finding that shifting from volume-based to value-based healthcare is not only the right thing to do for patients and communities; it makes good business sense as well.


“Counting What Counts: Hospital Quality Measures Should First and Foremost Contribute to Healthier Lives”

Hospital quality measures should first and foremost contribute to healthier lives. Intermountain has demonstrated that gains in quality performance usually result in improved operating efficiencies and reduced costs as well.


“Innovation Is Key to Health Care Improvements”

Innovation is a key way to improve the quality and reduce the cost of healthcare. Empathy and curiosity are the keys to innovation, according to Todd Dunn, Director of Innovation at Intermountain Healthcare.


"The Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25 for 2016"

Intermountain Healthcare ascended to the top spot in 2016 in the Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25 through a recent supply chain initiative that reduced unnecessary variation among 62 clinical product categories and achieved $24 million in savings on commonly used clinical products. “Intermountain Healthcare’s journey to the top is the culmination of strategy, talent and capital coming together in a sustained effort to transform its supply chain.”