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Cleveland Clinic Embraces Better Faster Lower Cost Healthcare

CEO, President Toby Cosgrove, M.D., Delivers Annual State of the Clinic Address

February 27, 2013

American healthcare is in a state of unprecedented change, which will require hospitals to deliver better patient outcomes and faster care, all at a lower cost. Cleveland Clinic is not just poised for that challenge, but ready to lead the charge, said Cleveland Clinic CEO and President Toby Cosgrove, MD, in his annual “State of the Clinic” address Wednesday.

“There’s a new frontier out there whether we seek it or not. The times demand new strategies, innovation and imagination,” Dr. Cosgrove said. “Only a few organizations earn the opportunity to lead. We have that opportunity, that ability and that duty to lead. I have never been more optimistic about our future. This is our time.”

Despite the uncertainty surrounding healthcare in the U.S., Cleveland Clinic’s finances remained strong, as total revenue in 2012 increased 7 percent over 2011, reaching $6.2 billion. Operating income decreased to $228 million, and investments were up 21 percent, reaching $5.2 billion. Community benefit reached $693 million, accounting for 12 percent of expenses.

In 2012, Cleveland Clinic saw 1.3 million unique visitors, an increase of 5 percent over 2011. About 125,000 of those visits were from new patients.

Going forward, Cleveland Clinic’s mission – striving to be the world’s leader in patient experience, clinical outcomes, research and education – will not change. What will change is how the health system achieves those goals.

The “new world” of healthcare will transform the way healthcare providers are paid for services, moving away from fee-for-service, volume-based care to outcomes-based payments for value-based care.

“If we are better, faster and lower cost, we will in fact be driving value,” Dr. Cosgrove said.

A Value-Based Care Team – made up of physicians, nurses, and other experts – will work to translate “better, lower cost, faster” into everyday practice.

Cleveland Clinic is already making strides in these areas. From the standpoint of delivering better care, the health system reached the Top 20 of the University HealthSystem Consortium’s (UHC) quality index, earning UHC’s Rising Star award by improving in all six measurements, including patient centeredness, mortality, equity, efficiency, effectiveness and safety.

The hospital has been able to lower costs in various ways, such as avoiding 12,082 lab tests for a savings of $1.2 million and lowering the cost of lung transplant surgery by 11 percent. Cleveland Clinic is also getting patients into treatment faster, with the total number of same-day visits increasing by 14 percent and the average emergency room door-to-doctor time reduced to 17 minutes.

To maintain momentum, it will be essential that the Cleveland Clinic health system continue to grow – regionally, nationally and globally.

In Northeast Ohio, growth will come through expanded service areas, regional planning to reduce duplication of services within the system, and improved patient services.

National growth will come through partnerships that export Cleveland Clinic’s clinical expertise to hospitals throughout the country. International growth will focus on facilities in Abu Dhabi and Canada, with referral offices in Riyadh, Turkey, China and London. The market potential in Abu Dhabi is sizeable, with 3 billion people residing within a six-hour flight, compared to 500 million people living within a six-hour flight to Cleveland.

Other achievements highlighted in the 2012 State of the Clinic included:

  • The 2012 Sones Innovation Award was given to vascular surgeon Roy Greenberg, MD, for his work in developing endovascular devices and techniques to repair complex aortic and peripheral arterial problems. He holds more than 50 patents on devices that have emerged from his research.
  • Applications to the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine continued to rise, with 1,921 applications for 32 positions for the incoming 2013 class. The Medical College Admission Test scores of accepted medical students remain in the top 5 in the United States, according to US News & World Report.
  • Cleveland Clinic continues to focus on employee engagement and patient satisfaction. In 2012, patient satisfaction ranked in the 66th percentile, though the goal is to reach the 90th percentile.

Although the future of healthcare is unknown and uncharted, Dr. Cosgrove said, Cleveland Clinic is well positioned to meet the upcoming challenges.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S.News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. About 2,800 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic Health System includes a main campus near downtown Cleveland, eight community hospitals and 18 Family Health Centers in Northeast Ohio, Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Cleveland Clinic Canada, and, currently under construction, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. In 2010, there were 4 million visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 167,000 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 100 countries. Visit us at Follow us at

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Eileen Sheil, 216.444.8927,