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Compare the horizontally integrated health system and the vertically integrated health system you have selected (e.g., size, settings/locations, and types of services).

Assignment: Integration of Health Systems

Intermountain Healthcare is a high-performing integrated health system with facilities in Utah and Idaho. The health system has a long-standing clinical integration structure that encourages professional collaboration. Despite this, in 1999, many physicians at Intermountain Healthcare found it difficult to fulfill the needs of patients with co-occurring physical and mental health conditions. To efficiently and effectively address this issue, Intermountain Healthcare adopted a mental health integration model in many of its primary care facilities, as well as some of its specialty clinics and partner clinics. The team-based approach has improved the coordination of services, resulting in higher quality care at a savings of cost.

 Consider the example above. What advantages does integration afford Intermountain Healthcare? Do other integrated health systems experience similar benefits? Are there disadvantages to integration? If so, what are they?

To prepare for this Assignment, review the information related to vertical and horizontal integration presented in the Learning Resources.

Select one of the following horizontally integrated health systems:

  • DaVita
  • Apria
  • Sunrise Senior Living
  • Labcorp
  • Quest Diagnostics

Select one of the following vertically integrated health systems:

  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • MedStar Health
  • Memorial Hermann Healthcare System Houston

As an alternative, you may use Becker’s Hospital Review resource to identify a vertically integrated health system.

Using the Walden Library and credible sources on the Internet, research your selected health systems. Investigate the rationale for pursuing integration and the strategies each health system has used to achieve integration. Note information related to the size of each health system, settings/locations, and types of services it provides.

Based on your research, consider the ways in which the two health systems are similar to and/or different from one another.

Assess the business and health care-related implications of horizontal and vertical integration of your selected health systems. How does integration impact the management of your selected organizations and the patients/consumers they serve, especially in terms of cost, quality, and access?

Consider any applicable insights you have gained through the Discussion for this module.

The Assignment

Write a 3- to 4-page paper in which you:

  • Compare the horizontally integrated health system and the vertically integrated health system you have selected (e.g., size, settings/locations, and types of services).
  • Explain each health system’s rationale for pursuing integration and the strategies it has used to achieve integration.
  • Assess the business and health care-related implications of integration for your selected health systems, including how integration impacts the patients/consumers the organization serves.
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