SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's former chief political executive is heading up an effort to bring information to companies that will shape the way they deal with health care.

Leavitt Partners — founded by former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt — announced last week the formation of Health Intelligence Partners, a member-based health care executive collaboration that brings together industry leaders and policy experts to participate in tailor-made activities that give members an informed perspective on the likely future of health care.

While Utah may have previously flown under the radar as a major health care knowledge base, Leavitt said the state's reputation is growing quickly, which is why he chose to launch the business here.

"Utah is home," he said. "It's the place I wanted to build this enterprise, and wanted to build the Utah economy, not some other place."

Leavitt added that he had no problem attracting top talent or clients to the Beehive State, and believes that Utah could become a leader in the health care sector.

"Utah has the potential for becoming a center for health care policy thinking as well as health care innovation," he said. With respected players like Intermountain Healthcare, the University of Utah School of Medicine and genetics research, as well as the growing medical infomatics industry that was "invented in Utah," the Wasatch Front is on the verge of becoming a health care hub, he said.

"One of the things we hope to accomplish is to help form the critical mass to make Utah a capital for medical innovation," Leavitt said.

Using comprehensive national surveys, strategic tabletop exercises, briefings and summits, the firm provides a setting for insightful dialogue and productive partnerships. Members, including leading hospital systems, insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, medical device companies, long-term care service providers, technology vendors and other enterprises serving the health care sector, benefit from reduced uncertainty and expanded clarity about the future of the health care marketplace, explained President and CEO Rich McKeown.

"Great upheaval is getting ready to occur in the health care industry," he said. "We are trying to help … those who are engaged trying to deal with this uncertainty create a pathway forward so they can begin to position themselves correctly."

McKeown noted that current system of health care that is based on paying providers per service has led to ever-increasing costs at an unsustainable rate. The company's program provides clients with critical information that indicates what changes are on the horizon so the firms can make informed decisions on how to keep health care costs affordable and maintain profitability.

Founded in 2009, Leavitt Partners describes itself as a health care intelligence business. Through its member-based collaboration called Health Intelligence Partners and direct services to clients, the firm provides the best available picture of the future of health care. By conferring with an authoritative group of health care thought leaders, the company helps clients clearly see where American health care is headed, according to Andrew Croshaw, managing director of health practice.

"So much of the health care delivery system is built around the notion of treating sick people. Very little of it is built around creating supports to prevent sickness," Croshaw said. "We're envisioning a 180 degree change where in the future you're successful if you keep people well."

He said getting companies and the other players in the system to change their way of thinking will take time and patience, but the long-term benefit would be significant.

"We try to help these companies see the future of health care ... to try to reduce uncertainty so they can plan wisely for the future," McKeown said.

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