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National Healthcare Changes Offer Cleveland Clinic Opportunity to Invent 21st Century Healthcare

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

February 26, 2014

In the midst of dramatic change in the national healthcare environment, there is opportunity to create better access, drive superior quality and make care affordable, Cleveland Clinic CEO and President Toby Cosgrove, M.D., said in his annual “State of the Clinic” address.

Certainly, the next few years will present major challenges, he said. Medicare payments are being cut, while the reimbursement formula will shift away from the traditional fee-for-service, volume-based model to a value-based model that rewards patient outcomes and efficiency.

“These are shifting sands,” Dr. Cosgrove said. “The world of healthcare is changing rapidly and we must adapt.”

To adapt, he said, it’s essential for everyone in the Cleveland Clinic health system to embrace these changes as an opportunity to invent the future of healthcare.

The current healthcare environment “provides a great opportunity to create a better healthcare system so that every life may have the world class care they deserve,” he said. “Our past and present successes are the result of following our North Star – Patients First – while acting as a unit. How and where we provide care may change but we’ll always remain true to our model.”

Improvements have already taken place, Dr. Cosgrove said.

Improved access led to an increase in the number of unique patients in 2013, reaching 1.5 million, including 3,193 international patients. Same-day visits topped 1 million, accommodating 98 percent of all same-day requests. In Cleveland Clinic health system emergency departments, the number of visits reached 44,000 per month, with wait times shrinking to just 11 minutes, compared with 46 minutes in 2010.

As always, quality and patient outcomes continue to be a key focus, Dr. Cosgrove said, with positive results in 2013. Cleveland Clinic ranked 14th among 101 academic medical centers nationally in UHC quality rankings, a significant improvement since 2010 when Cleveland Clinic ranked 80th. The number of patient safety indicators has been reduced to 61 per month system-wide, down from 189 a month in 2010. And patient complaints have decreased from 2.5 per 1,000 encounters to 0.9.

Cost-saving efforts have been taking place across the enterprise. Nearly 18,000 unnecessary lab tests were avoided, saving $1.9 million. In nephrology, the cost of a partial nephrectomy has been reduced by 20 percent by reviewing the type of products used in surgery. In behavioral health, the cost per case dropped 10 percent per patient, through testing a new model of care. In neurology, costs associated with low back pain have decreased 57 percent, by implementing care paths to keep care consistent across the system. And at Hillcrest Hospital, attentive caregivers noticed that soap, saline and other products were only partially used; switching to smaller bottles system-wide reduced the waste and saved $300,000.

Other highlights presented during “State of the Clinic” include:

As the healthcare industry continues to undergo change, Dr. Cosgrove said, “The more committed, productive, and valuable each of us is, the more successful the Cleveland Clinic will be and the more secure our futures.”

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. More than 3,000 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. The Cleveland Clinic health system includes a main campus near downtown Cleveland, eight community hospitals, more than 75 Northern Ohio outpatient locations, including 16 full-service Family Health Centers, 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 2012, there were 5.1 million outpatient visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 157,000 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 130 countries. Visit us at Follow us at

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