Cooperating for better care.

Ann Huston

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Cleveland Clinic navigates a new world



The original Cleveland Clinic Building, put up in 1921. 

Disparate ventures show how the  Cleveland Clinic, one of America’s most respected nonprofit health systems, is trying to manage the revolution in healthcare.

While it has traditionally relied on its  internationally known ability to provide high-priced specialty care, the system, “along with every stand-alone community hospital and large academic medical center, is being forced to remake itself,” The New York Times reports. “Patients are increasingly seeking care outside the hospital — in a family health center, a doctor’s office, a drugstore or at home. Medicare and other insurers are moving away from volume-based payments to new models, to pay less for better care.”

The New York Times reports that “to avoid becoming marginalized in an environment where insurers are looking to health systems that can manage all of a patient’s medical needs, the clinic — long known for treating the ‘sickest of the sick’ — is trying to become as good at primary care and treating chronic disease  {including for poor communities} as it is at performing complicated heart valve repairs. ”

But “the clinic has been slow to experiment with some new payment models like a Medicare program for so-called Accountable Care Organizations, which offer systems a share of the savings if they can keep costs low while meeting assorted quality goals. The models seek to push health systems to become better at caring for large groups of people who have a wide variety of medical needs.”

“We’re so far behind that we can be ahead,” said Ann Huston, Cleveland Clinic’s chief strategy officer, told The Times.

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