Health Care

Cleveland Clinic CEO Delivers ‘State of the Clinic’

CLEVELAND — As American health care continues on a path of dramatic and rapid change, Cleveland Clinic has improved quality through data-driven, evidence-based care, while lowering expenses, Cleveland Clinic president and CEO Toby Cosgrove, M.D., said today in the annual “state of the Clinic” address.

“The world of health care is changing and we are adapting,” Cosgrove began. “Change is difficult and can cause tremendous anxiety about our collective and individual futures. Our past successes are the result of acting as a unit and putting patients first. We will remain true to our mission.”

Health-care reform has ushered in an era of consumerism, transparency, technological enhancement, broader insurance coverage for patients, and a fundamental shift in how hospitals are paid, he explained. No longer will hospitals be paid exclusively on a volume-based, fee-for-service model, but rather on a value-based, outcomes-centered model, making quality and cost key factors.

At the same time, Medicare payments will be cut by $415 billion by 2022, according to the Congressional Budget Office, while National Institutes of Health funding is expected to remain flat.

Despite these challenges, Cosgrove said, Cleveland Clinic maintained its financial health, as total operating revenue increased by 4% to $6.7 billion in 2014 and total pledges and gifts reached a record high of $255 million in 2014.

“By any measure, we had a very successful year,” Cosgrove said.

Cleveland Clinic’s long-term goal to transform healthcare delivery will continue to focus on improving access, safety, affordability and quality.

In 2014 Cleveland Clinic ranked among the Top 10 in UHC’s Quality Rankings of nonprofit academic medical centers nationally. Other quality improvements Cosgrove cited included: patient safety indicators decreased from 215 per month in 2011 to 89 per month in 2014; hospital-acquired infections were reduced by nearly two-thirds in just one year, down from 30 per month in 2013 to 11 per month in 2014; and all-cause readmissions decreased from 14.4 percent in 2013 to 13.8 percent in 2014.

In an effort to improve affordability, Cleveland Clinic achieved $498 million in cost savings, he continued. In addition, employees submitted 800 cost-saving ideas resulting in $2.5 million saved through the “My Two Cents” program. And targeted efforts have been made to successfully reduce the cost of care, including stroke, labor induction, hip replacements, thyroid surgery and multiple myeloma medications.

In 2014, Cleveland Clinic expanded access to care through these capital projects:

  • On main campus, three new buildings are under construction: a $276 million, 377,000-square-foot cancer treatment center; a health education campus to house Case Western Reserve University’s schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine and Nursing, as well as the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine; and a 274-room Holiday Inn hotel to be built and managed by a private developer at Euclid Avenue and East 86th St.
  • In northeast Ohio, a new $20 million emergency department opened at the Brunswick Family Health Center; in Avon, construction has begun on the $143 million “hospital of the future” next to the Richard E. Jacobs Health Center, in addition to a new 60-bed adult inpatient rehabilitation hospital to be managed by Select Medical; a $17.5 million emergency department expansion at Lutheran Hospital is set to open in 2015; a Northeast Ohio regional extension campus of Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine will open this summer on South Pointe Hospital’s campus; and plans have been announced to build a new family health center and emergency department to meet Lakewood’s long-term healthcare needs.
  • In Weston, Fla., the $90 million Egil and Pauline Braathen Center, which will house both the Pauline Braathen Neurological Center and the Maroone Cancer Center, is nearly complete.
  • And in the United Arab Emirates, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi – a 2.7-million-square-foot facility – will begin to see patients later this year.

Improved access was also achieved in 2014 through shared medical appointments (for more than 6,000 patients), same-day appointments (1.1 million), HealthSpot locations in retail clinics, mobile units for stroke and children’s health, and reduced wait times in emergency departments (down to 18 minutes).

Cosgrove also highlighted several 2014 clinical achievements, including: the launch of a mobile stroke treatment unit to diagnose and treat stroke more quickly and effectively; the use of deep brain stimulation to effectively treat thalamic pain after stroke; and the availability of haploidentical transplant in the treatment of blood cancers and other blood diseases, such as sickle cell anemia.

Research achievements in 2014 included: the discovery that proteins called vascular endothelial growth factors can cut off the blood supply to tumors and inhibit cancer development in animal models; finding that microglia protects the brain from traumatic brain injury and may help alleviate chronic neurological diseases; and showing that breath analysis can identify diseases such as heart failure, renal failure, and pulmonary hypertension, among others.

2015 promises to offer the same challenges as recent years, Cosgrove said, but “we will act with courage in the face of this new reality,” he told caregivers watching the address at the Intercontinental Hotel and at hospitals throughout the system. “I know that you have the courage to make the changes to assure superior quality and ready access at an affordable cost. I believe in you and the future of the Cleveland Clinic.”

SOURCE: Cleveland Clinic.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.