Intermountain Forms Castell to Ease Transition to Value-Based Care

Jack Coleman
JULY 23, 2019
doctor and patient
Photo/Thumb have been modified. Courtesy of NIH Clinical Center via flickr.

In a push to transition more health organizations from volume- to value-based care, Intermountain Healthcare has established a new company, Castell, which seeks to help clients provide higher-quality and more affordable care to their patients.

“Intermountain’s day-to-day frontline experience and success in value-based care management programs make us uniquely prepared to extend our services to others through Castell. We are energized by this opportunity to simplify value-based care and help set the direction for the healthcare of the future,” Rajesh Shrestha, president and CEO of Castell, told Inside Digital Health™.

While value-based care systems are designed to prioritize the health of the consumer, they bring new operational burdens to providers, health systems and payers. Without the right level of support, it’s difficult to thrive in a value-based healthcare world, according to Intermountain.

Castell claims to usher in the transformation and improvement of value care through its platform of tools and services. These tools are headlined by Intermountain’s “Reimagined Primary Care” model, which allows physicians to spend more time with patients and to learn more about them on a personal level. The model also enables physicians to assess the problems before them with an expanded care team.

Castell intends to streamline affiliated network management.

“Affiliated network providers manage multiple types of contracts with varying degrees of financial risk, performance measures and other requirements,” Shrestha said. “Castell will streamline value-based contracts, so providers access a single point of information across their patient panels. Providing streamlined information will ensure providers can care for each patient consistently and focus on what’s best for the patient in front of them.”

After looking at past failures and successes of Intermountain, other local provider networks and population health programs, Castell claims to boast the most comprehensive suite of value-based care offerings in the nation.The company plans to serve providers, payers, health systems and accountable care organizations.

The move toward value-based care, though wrought with risk, could prove lucrative for these clients.

“Healthcare’s ongoing shift from volume- to value-based systems of care enables providers, health systems and payers to take a more holistic approach to managing the health of their patients, but also creates more financial risk or rewards,” Shrestha said.

Intermountain Healthcare, of course, is known for  delivering high-quality, high-value care. The health system awards physicians for more effective value-based care and tries to remove incentives for ineffective care.

Its preventive approach to patient wellness could allow for care to be assessed and administered before an emergency, creating a means of more effectively treating those with special needs, such as chronic illnesses, through prevention. Physicians can then work “downstream” with patients in an effort to lower recovery time.

Castell claims that this model has resulted in a 60% reduction in Medicare Advantage admissions, 25% fewer commercial insurance admissions and 20% decreased per-member per-month costs.

Castell plans to deliver similar results to its clients, through a technology and analytics platform to guide care and digital tools to address virtual care, the patient experience and social determinants of health.

“Intermountain Healthcare’s mission is to help people live the healthiest lives possible. This commitment is the same no matter where, when or with whom people get care,” said Marc Harrison, M.D., Intermountain president and CEO.

Castell will continue to grow its arsenal, drawing upon new innovations, care pathways and clinical practices from Intermountain Healthcare in the future.

“Castell is a critical component of Intermountain’s broad vision for healthier communities,” Harrison added. “It creates a new path for providers to access the support they need to provide high-quality, affordable care to their patients across the nation.” 

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