Time to Think Anew in Healthcare

Controlling costs and improving quality

doctor reviewing records with patient

By: Toby Cosgrove, MD

Advertising Policy

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

American healthcare is in the middle of an unprecedented transformation. How can we meet the challenges that come with such change? As Abraham Lincoln said, “We must think anew and act anew.”

Knowing that changes were coming, healthcare providers have been looking at ways to lower costs and expand access well before the passage of the federal Affordable Care Act of 2008.

To help employers lower healthcare costs and at the same time enable more people to have access to our specialized services, we developed a bundled payment program with self-insured companies, such as Lowe’s.

Advertising Policy

Through the program with Lowe’s, the retailer’s employees have access to our cardiac surgery program with no out-of-pocket cost. The retailer pays a flat or “bundled” rate for our services. Employees who are recommended by their local doctor for cardiac surgery have the option of coming to Cleveland Clinic. The company pays their airfare and lodging and waives the usual employee deductible.

These partnerships significantly reduce healthcare costs for employers, while also giving their employees greater access to the country’s best hospitals.

In some cases, our cardiologists have determined that the patient doesn’t actually need cardiac surgery and can be treated with medicine or some less invasive procedure. Since all our doctors are on salary, they have no financial incentive to order unnecessary treatment. Our goal is simply to give each patient the best care.

Advertising Policy

Since our alliance with Lowe’s in 2010, we’ve entered into similar agreements with several other employers around the country. Recently, we announced a similar agreement with Walmart.

Programs such as these represent a new way of thinking about how we deliver healthcare in the United States. They control costs, but most importantly, they improve quality by helping to get patients to the right place for the right care.

Delos M. Cosgrove, MD LinkedIn Profile

Advertising Policy
Advertising Policy