A new collaborative called the Utah Alliance for the Determinants of Health (the Alliance) has been formed to promote health, improve health care access, and decrease health care costs.
The Alliance—a collaboration in Ogden and St. George led by Intermountain Healthcare involving city, county, and state government agencies and other community based organizations—seeks to improve health by focusing on non-medical factors that affect health, such as housing instability, utility needs, food insecurity, interpersonal violence, and transportation. Non-medical determinants of health are thought to account for up to 60 percent of health outcomes.
The collaborative will begin with two demonstration programs in Ogden and St. George with SelectHealth Medicaid members. The intent is to eventually initiate similar work throughout Utah with other patients, officials said.
Intermountain will provide funding to support the Alliance’s initial demonstration programs in Ogden and St. George for three years subject to applicable regulations. These communities were selected based on the needs of the communities, opportunities to partner with other organizations and agencies, as well as on other factors such as available social services.
The Alliance is designed within the Accountable Health Communities model designed by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), officials said, and this approach will include screening SelectHealth members for social needs and assisting with coordination of those needs.
Intermountain will be investing $12 million over three years—$2 million annually in both Ogden and St. George—which will sustain the three-year demonstration project. Intermountain’s initial funding for this demonstration will be used to bolster the impact of numerous pre-existing programs currently led by community partners. The addition of funds will enable Intermountain and community partners to gain efficiencies in coordinating care and other services that will reduce total spending.
“We are very excited to work with our local and statewide partners in this innovative Alliance,” Mikelle Moore, Intermountain Healthcare’s senior vice president, community health, said in a statement. “By working together in new ways to promote health, we expect to make a real difference in the lives of the people in these programs. The Alliance will lead to healthier communities and will also have a positive impact in slowing the rise of healthcare costs.”
"Addressing social determinants of health increasingly plays a vital role as the country transitions to value and holistic-based health care,” Andrew Croshaw, CEO of Leavitt Partners, said in a statement. Leavitt Partners is providing advisory and strategic support to Intermountain and the Alliance on the initiative.
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