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.
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.
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.