Ten examples of how we are making care more affordable


Intermountain is focused on improving value to patients and people in our communities — providing best quality along with efficiency — and reducing costs to make care more affordable. The hard work and innovation of caregivers across the system is resulting in millions of dollars in savings.

“The work you’re doing has always been making a difference for our patients on the clinical side, and now it’s also making a difference on the affordability side,” says Rob Allen, Intermountain’s senior vice president and chief operating officer. “We’re taking savings and returning it with improved affordability for patients and our community.”

Here are ten examples from Rob of how savings are being passed on to our patients:

rob allen

Rob Allen

  1. Lower annual health plan rate increases. Intermountain reduced our annual rate increase on our set prices for services by $15 million in 2019.
  2. Improved efficiency. We’re improving efficiency, eliminating redundancy, and focusing our efforts on what makes a difference for our patients across Intermountain.
  3. Lower-cost care settings. Intermountain is reducing unnecessary emergency department visits by increasing access to appropriate care in lower-cost settings such as InstaCare, physician offices, and Connect Care.
  4. Lower individual premiums. We reduced SelectHealth individual plan premiums by 2.7 percent in 2019, a $27 million reduction from 2018 premium rates.
  5. Affordable SelectHealth Share premiums. Intermountain guarantees a premium rate increase for new SelectHealth Share clients of only 2.5 percent in years two and three of a three-year contract. For current clients, the guaranteed premium rate increase is only 2 percent for all three years. This compares to an industry-wide premium increase of more than 5 percent.
  6. Stork Savers program. Intermountain offers a lower-cost cash price to patients without health insurance for mom and baby care associated with uncomplicated births.
  7. New pricing program for shoppable procedures. In 2019 and 2020, Intermountain is rolling out lower pricing for several dozen inpatient and outpatient services our consumers commonly use and seek pricing quotes for, such as delivering babies, imaging procedures, and colonoscopies. These lower prices will result in a $65 million reduction in payments to Intermountain — $55 million less from payers and $10 million less from patients.
  8. Supply initiatives. Intermountain has a set ratio of what we pay and what we charge patients for supplies and drugs. When we reduce our costs, we can directly lower charges to patients for those items. In 2018, we negotiated better prices on supplies, resulting in more than $32 million in cost savings.
  9. Financial assistance. Beginning in 2018, our efforts to improve affordability allowed us to expand financial assistance to cover needed health services for families with income levels up to 200 percent of the national poverty level.
  10. Caregiver ideas. Intermountain caregivers implemented nearly 49,000 continuous improvement ideas in 2018 — that’s more than 130 ideas each day. Many of these ideas both improve quality and reduce expenses.
Three ways caregivers can help improve affordability for patients

Intermountain needs your continued support to improve affordability and access. Provider and caregiver support of key initiatives helps lower costs and improve quality and access for patients, which includes lower out-of-pocket charges and more affordable health insurance premiums. Here are three things you can do to help:

1. Use supplies and drugs with negotiated better pricing where those items are included in our best practices from Clinical Programs and Clinical Services. This directly lowers charges for patients.

2. Encourage patients to access and use appropriate care at lower-cost settings as included in our best practice guidelines — such as clinics, InstaCare, and Connect Care instead of unnecessary ED visits.

3. Share and implement ideas. Intermountain caregivers implemented nearly 49,000 new ideas in 2018, many of which both increased quality and reduced expenses. Your ideas could make a huge difference, so please share.​

“We’ll continue on this journey,” Rob says. “We’ve been an unrelenting, mission-driven organization since our founding in 1975 — it’s why I’m part of Intermountain and I hope it’s part of why you’re here. We can make a difference, and you are making a difference.”