Intermountain Healthcare in Utah. Low cost, excellent

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We lived in Utah for two years and continue to go back there for healthcare even though we live in Las Vegas. The reason is Intermountain Healthcare, a statewide nonprofit that provides excellent low-cost healthcare. We do use doctors in Vegas, however our primary care is in Utah.

Ok, you’re probably wondering if this is a Mormon thing. Yes, absolutely. And they do a great job. There’s a reason the beehive is the state symbol of Utah. I had surgery at an IMH hospital on Thursday. A plaque at the main entrance says a primary funder is an LDS foundation. My surgeon has what I call the clean-cut Mormon look. I’m not being snarky. He is board-certified and performs the operation he did on me probably 300 times a year. Works for me. My primary care doctor is immediately notified of what happened via their comprehensive online system. It’s a well-run seamless system.

One problem in Vegas is that insurance premiums for doctors went very high. More than a few MDs moved elsewhere, causing a shortage. Sue asked people at her work where they went for healthcare and just about everyone who was from Utah said they go to Utah for primary care.

Obama cited IMH (and others) in a 2009 speech.

“Even within our own country, a lot of the places where we spend less on healthcare actually have higher quality than places where we spend more.”

“We have to ask why places like the Geisinger Health system in rural Pennsylvania, Intermountain Health in Salt Lake City, or communities like Green Bay can offer high-quality care at costs well below average, but other places in America can’t. We need to identify the best practices across the country, learn from the success, and replicate that success elsewhere.”

Intermountain responded.

“The utilization of many different services across the country is highly variable and often higher than it needs to be. In Intermountain Healthcare and in Utah, we’re focused on evidence-based medicine, and we’re more able to provide only the services our patients need. The result is, utilization is lower here, outcomes are better, and costs are dramatically lower. A growing number of healthcare and national leaders are seeing those results, and it’s very nice that the President is among them.”

About:

Intermountain Healthcare is a Utah-based not-for-profit system of 23 hospitals, 170 clinics, a Medical Group with close to 2,300 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health plans group under the name SelectHealth, and other medical services.