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Chicago group ranks IHC No. 1

SHARE Chicago group ranks IHC No. 1

SMG Group has named Intermountain Health Care the nation's top-ranked integrated health care system in which doctors, hospitals and health insurance plans work together.

The Chicago-based health information company examined 578 health systems nationwide, analyzing each on factors such as hospital utilization, financial stability, services and access, physicians, technology integration and outpatient utilization.

IHC has placed in the top 10 in SMG's rankings for three years, including the top spot in 2000 and second nationally in 2001.

In the comparison, IHC hospital charges were 27 percent below national average, and integration has lead to measurable improvements in health outcomes, according to IHC President William Nelson. Ninety-four percent of pregnant women enrolled in the company's health insurance plans got prenatal care in the first trimester, compared to 83 percent nationally. The company's childhood immunization rate was 15 percent higher than the average.

IHC is a charitable, community-owned nonprofit health care organization based in Salt Lake City, serving the health needs of residents in Utah and Idaho. It includes insurance plans, hospitals, clinics and affiliated physicians. Last year, IHC facilities provided $33 million in charitable assistance.