Late last week, Salt Lake City, Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare and University of Colorado-affiliated UCHealth, based in Aurora, CO, shared that they are jointly developing a clinically integrated network (CIN). It will initially comprise 700 primary care physicians working at UCHealth’s 12 hospitals and hundreds of clinics, but may expand in the future. The CIN will leverage Intermountain’s value-based care expertise and its SelectHealth insurance plans. The two health systems will remain independent and operate the CIN as a separate company.
The Gist: This partnership continues Intermountain’s expansion into Colorado, after it finalized its merger with SCL Health in April of last year.
It’s a smart way for Intermountain to strengthen its foothold in the state, especially as further health system acquisitions in the Denver area may raise antitrust concerns.
Intermountain will be able to tap into a larger network of physician relationships that it can use to bolster its health plan, with significantly lower infrastructure costs compared to employment.
These types of partnership strategies may also be bed-warming for deeper relationships, with the opportunity to demonstrate value before a full-on merger.