SALT LAKE CITY--()--During the first presidential debate on October 3, President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney disagreed about many things, but they were quick to agree that Utah’s Intermountain Healthcare is an example of high-quality, lower-cost healthcare.
“We have long known that some places—like the Intermountain Healthcare in Utah or the Geisinger Health System in rural Pennsylvania—offer high-quality care at costs below average”
In speaking about healthcare, Gov. Romney said, “We…need to put insurance plans, providers, hospitals, doctors on targets such that they have an incentive, as you say, performance pay, for doing an excellent job, for keeping costs down, and that’s happening. Intermountain Healthcare does it superbly well.”
“They do,” agreed President Obama.
Intermountain has been cited frequently by those from both sides of the political aisle as a model healthcare system for providing excellent health outcomes at lower costs. In 2009, President Obama highlighted Intermountain specifically in speeches to a joint session of Congress and to the American Medical Association:
“We have long known that some places—like the Intermountain Healthcare in Utah or the Geisinger Health System in rural Pennsylvania—offer high-quality care at costs below average” (President Barack Obama, Speech to Joint Session of Congress, 9 Sep 2009).
“We need to build on the examples of outstanding medicine at places like . . .the Geisinger Health system in rural Pennsylvania and Intermountain Health in Salt Lake City, where high-quality care is being provided at a cost well below average. . . . These are islands of excellence that we need to make the standard in our healthcare system” (President Barack Obama, Speech to American Medical Association, Chicago, 15 Jun 2009).
A Dartmouth Institute report featured Intermountain as a national benchmark and predicted a reduction in U.S. Medicare expenditures of more than 40 percent if other hospitals nationwide delivered healthcare the way it is delivered at Intermountain. These details were the focus of a recent, nationally broadcast PBS documentary, Money & Medicine, which compared and contrasted medical practices at Intermountain Medical Center and UCLA Medical Center.
Intermountain Healthcare is a Utah-based, nonprofit system of 22 hospitals, 185 clinics, a Medical Group with some 900 employed physicians, a health plans division called SelectHealth, and other health services. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare through high quality and sustainable costs. For more information, visit www.intermountainhealthcare.org.