Intermountain CEO says innovation is key to keeping medical prices down

Even though mergers can sometimes spell rising prices, Intermountain's CEO Marc Harrison, MD, sees virtual care and innovation as strategies to lower healthcare costs, according to an April 6 Colorado Sun article

Dr. Harrison is the CEO of Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare, which just completed its merger with  Broomfield, Colo.-based SCL Health. A common concern after hospital mergers is the issue of spiking healthcare prices, however, Dr. Harrison told the Sun that raising prices wasn't in the cards.

"I think the [mergers] that raise prices tend to be mergers that decrease competition," he said. "So you know, if one of the existing systems on the Front Range had merged with or acquired SCL Health, that would be a source of huge concern because maybe you will go from four down to three competitors, or three down to two."

The system has invested in virtual care and telehealth, and Dr. Harrison sees using different models of care delivery as a way to lower prices. By encouraging patients to have their medical appointments from home, the system can charge less for the virtual visits. 

"We're doing this so that Americans can afford their health care, and we will adapt our operations to support that," he said. "I think that these changes should become very apparent across the footprint."

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