Moving Ahead with New Plans

Intermountain Healthcare https://intermountainhealthcare.org unveiled plans to build the nation’s model health system for children by devoting $500 million or more for pediatric-specific projects, programs, and facilities to serve Intermountain West. The health system for children will feature advancements in pediatric health research, innovation, and state of the art technology.

For example, an expanded pediatric care network will enable Primary Children’s Hospital to bring specialty care via the use of telemedicine technologies and digital health services. In addition, mental and behavioral health services will be available for children and teens through the use of telehealth.

Intermountain is committed to funding half of the $500 million or more needed to complete the plan and has commissioned the Intermountain Foundation to seek the remaining funding through philanthropic support.

The new model will expand the Primary Children’s care network which serves children in a 400,000 square mile area in Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, and Alaska. Intermountain’s announcement inspired civic leader and philanthropist Gail Miller and the Miller family to gift $50 million to Intermountain.

Today, Intermountain has established the free standing Primary Children’s Hospital, Intermountain Healthcare’s network of 160 clinics, 24 hospitals, and the availability of specialty expertise from the University of Utah Health https://healthcare.utah.edu.

Intermountain Healthcare launched a new partnership with PolicyLab, https://policylab.chop.edu, a research center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) https://www.chop.edu. The goal is to evaluate and innovate interventions to improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare utilization costs related to Social Determinants of Health (SDOH).

The project known as the “Alliance for the Determinants of Health Demonstration” includes partners from healthcare, health departments, and community advocacy groups, along with other partnerships will taking place in Utah. The research is designed to address non-medical factors that can affect health such as housing, instability, utility needs, food insecurity, and transportation.

PolicyLab as the national evaluator, in collaboration with the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Camden Coalition https://camdenhealth.org, will provide the Alliance with an independent validation to help Intermountain design a nationwide model for how health systems can provide social need resources to improve health outcomes.

PolicyLab’s evaluation will assess patients” experiences with the Alliance and how it has impacted their medical, social, and behavioral needs, as well as how the intervention affects healthcare costs and the use of health services.

In collaboration with Intermountain, Policy Lab will also conduct a policy analysis to understand best practices for developing funding for and scaling up an intervention such as the Alliance.  Combined, the information should produce a useful road map for other health systems considering comprehensive interventions to reduce the health burden of SODH. PolicyLab’s evaluation of the Alliance will run through 2022.

Go to https://policylab.chop.edu/project/evaluating-population-health-approach-addressing-social-determinants-community  for more information on the partnership and project.

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