by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | June 22, 2022
As part of a 10-year value partnership, Intermountain Healthcare company Tellica Imaging has opened three outpatient imaging centers in Utah, equipped with MR and CT technology from Siemens Healthineers.
The centers — in Ogden, Orem and West Valley/Taylorsville — are the first of several, with an additional five facilities slated to open later in 2022.
"This partnership allows us to offer exceptional clinical care outside of the hospital and in an outpatient setting via the latest medical technology, providing our patients with a potentially faster, more affordable, and more easily accessible option for care,” said Nannette Berensen, vice president and chief operating officer of clinical shared services at Intermountain Healthcare, in a statement.
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Intermountain launched Tellica Imaging
in October 2021, with the intent of opening stand-alone outpatient imaging centers that offered services at flat-rate costs, below those of hospital-based imaging. The company announced at the time that it expected to hire approximately 20 employees to manage all three centers.
“While hospital-based imaging services remain an important part of the care process, particularly in emergency situations and when complex imaging services are needed, many patients prefer to access CT scan and MR imaging services in convenient settings closer to home,” said Berensen at the time of Tellica Imaging’s launch.
The outpatient settings are especially beneficial to patients with insurers such as UnitedHealthGroup, Anthem, and Cigna, which have stopped covering outpatient MR and CT scans in hospital settings over the last few years in an effort to push patients toward lower-cost stand-alone facilities. National research shows that outpatient imaging is often more accessible and affordable. Anthem adjusted
its policy last summer to cover children under 19 for imaging in hospitals.
"Siemens Healthineers is pleased to provide Intermountain Healthcare with the medical imaging technology and related software and services necessary to launch and expand its new Tellica Imaging outpatient imaging centers, with the goal of enhancing the quality of healthcare available to patients in the state of Utah and beyond," said David Pacitti, president and head of the Americas at Siemens Healthineers.