Integrated Delivery Networks to Watch

“They’re partnering with their local communities, collaborating with other providers, creating new pathways of care and embracing new reimbursement structures.” – IH Executive Magazine

Salt Lake CityIH Executive (formerly the Integrated Healthcare Executive magazine) has recognized 10 organizations as “Integrated Delivery Networks to Watch” and included Intermountain Healthcare.

The selected organizations are profiled in a special section of the publication’s September/October 2015 issue as systems that “are innovating across a variety of care types and settings to help transform the U.S. healthcare system. They’re partnering with their local communities, collaborating with other providers, creating new pathways of care and embracing new reimbursement structures. They’re each demonstrating leadership in a unique and exciting way that makes them worth watching.”

Intermountain was specifically highlighted for its efforts to analyze patient healthcare use and spot trends in high-utilizers. Called hotspotting, Intermountain discovered that its top five percent of high-utilizing patients accounted for 51 percent of healthcare costs and that the top one percent accounted for 24 percent of costs.

“We mapped out for these patients all the care they received over five years,” says Scott Pingree, Intermountain’s director of strategic planning and chair of hotspotting and high-cost patient care. “For each venue of care, we’d place a mark on the date of each visit to see all the care they were receiving. We reviewed that information with physicians to understand our opportunity to improve continuity of care.”

Pilot projects were launched to better coordinate care for these patients, with the thought that by better understanding and meeting the needs of these patients, better care could be given with lower costs and ultimately, greater value. “Our chief objectives are ‘how can we improve people’s care, is that possible to do, and how can we potentially do it at the lowest appropriate cost?” Pingree says.

According to Pingree, Comprehensive Care Clinics and Community Care Managers meet with patients to provide intensive, team-based care to address such issues as medication needs and compliance, lab and imaging service coordination, home care, medical insurance and payments, and even transportation. “The team focuses on tapping into community resources, providing the patient with referrals and coordinating activity.”

While still being evaluated, early indicators show an improvement in the health outcomes of these patients. And as patients improve, Pingree says new patients are brought onboard. The end goal is to move patients to the point they are getting true high-value care.

The publication is distributed to more than 14,000 executive and clinical management professionals.

Intermountain is named one of the nation's 10 top “Integrated Delivery Networks to Watch” in another recent accolade.