Intermountain Healthcare, UCHealth forming health network in Colorado

The two health systems will stay independent, but they plan to operate a new clinically integrated network as a separate entity.

Intermountain Healthcare and UCHealth say they have formed a partnership to establish a new clinically integrated network in Colorado.

The two health systems plan to remain independent and said they will operate the clinically integrated network as a separate entity.

They said the network is designed to spur the transition to value-based care in Colorado, and is intended to provide better healthcare at lower costs for more than 300,000 people.

The initiative will bring together 700 primary care doctors, clinics and hospitals across Colorado. The partnership will also provide a new health insurance option to Colorado, the systems said.

At first, Intermountain Health’s Colorado Quality Care Network and UCHealth’s Coordinated Care Colorado network will come together to create the network, but the system said other Colorado clinically integrated networks or provider networks may be part of the venture in the future.

Beginning in January 2024, the partnership expects to support health insurance products and programs from SelectHealth, which will provide Medicare Advantage and Affordable Care Act plans, pending the approval of regulators. SelectHealth, a subsidiary of Intermountain, is a nonprofit health plan serving more than 1 million people in Utah, Idaho and Nevada.

Mark Korth, Intermountain Health’s regional president, said the network “will treat SelectHealth just like all payers here.” Any health plan that offers better health outcomes at lower costs will be viewed as a valuable partner, he said.

“UCHealth and Intermountain look forward to the next evolution to our value-based care approach,” Korth said in a statement.

Elizabeth B. Concordia, UCHealth president and CEO, said the initiative meshes with UCHealth’s focus on lowering healthcare costs and offering better care.

“We are excited to partner with Intermountain to advance these goals and to give Coloradans a new option for their health insurance that prioritizes value-based care,” Concordia said in a statement. “Together, we will help improve the overall health of the communities we serve.”

Both Intermountain and UCHealth have formed partnerships with other systems recently.

In October, UCHealth and Parkview Health System signed a letter of intent for Parkview to join UCHealth in 2023. UCHealth has committed to investing nearly $200 million into Parkview, which has been struggling financially.

Intermountain completed its merger with SCL Health in April 2022. Intermountain, based in Utah, now operates 33 hospitals, making it one of the largest nonprofit hospital systems in the United States.