Intermountain pours $12M into social determinants of health effort

The Salt Lake City health system will funnel $12 million over three years into the Utah Alliance for the Determinants of Health, which focuses on the non-medical factors that impact a person’s health.

social determinants of health,

Salt Lake City, Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare plans to invest $12 million over the next three years into an effort focused on the social determinants of health.

Said effort is a newly created collaboration called the Utah Alliance for the Determinants of Health, which will focus on the non-medical factors that impact a person’s health, including transportation, food insecurity, housing instability and interpersonal violence.

The Alliance is designed within the Accountable Health Communities model created by CMS.

To kick things off, the Alliance will have two demonstration programs in Ogden and St. George, Utah. It will initially begin by working with SelectHealth Medicaid members in four ZIP codes within those cities. Of Intermountain’s $12 million in funding, Ogden and St. George will each receive $2 million annually, which will be enough to support the project for three years.

Initially, the money will be utilized to boost the existing programs led by community organizations in Ogden and St. George. Additional funds will allow Intermountain and other entities to make further improvements to coordinating care. Zions Bank also donated $100,000 to the Alliance.

By screening patients for specific needs and helping coordinate solutions, the Alliance’s goal is to improve people’s overall health and reduce costs.

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Looking ahead, the Alliance hopes to bring its work to other areas and patient populations in Utah.

“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,” Mikelle Moore, Intermountain’s senior vice president of community health, said in a press release. “The Alliance will lead to healthier communities and will also have a positive impact in slowing the rise of healthcare costs.”

Another one of Intermountain’s recent endeavors includes a telehealth project. Earlier this year, the system opened a virtual hospital called Connect Care Pro, which brings together its 35 telehealth programs and over 500 providers and caregivers.

Photo: vaeenma, Getty Images