Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic to Form New Physician Relationships

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In moves to grapple with decreasing hospitalization rates and sluggish or declining inpatient revenues, The Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, and the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, reveal in a recent American Medical News article pending announcements of plans to establish relationships with physicians via subscription-based services. Both providers indicate that they will seek practices to pay them subscription fees in exchange for the use of resources and their name brand.

"There's a lot of consolidation among health care groups as people try to predict what health care reform will mean," David L. Hayes, MD, a cardiologist and medical director of Mayo's affiliated practice network, is quoted as saying in the amednews.com story. "The whole point for us is to grow strong relationships with other healthcare groups and other healthcare systems that are of a similar mindset in terms of caring for the patient. We can help support them with clinical expertise and help the local practices stay strong."

Both The Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic have extensive practitioner networks in place. The former, which in addition to its Rochester facility maintains campuses in Scottsdale, Arizona and Jacksonville, Florida, has a staff of approximately 3,700 physicians and scientists. More than 1,800 physicians and dentists in offices throughout Ohio and in Weston, Florida; Elko, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates comprise the Cleveland Clinic’s network.

"While others quickly consolidate to address health care reform and an uncertain reimbursement environment, at Mayo we are focused on further developing our integrated model of practice, education and research, as well as a range of external affiliations and relationships, to give more people seamless access to the knowledge and expertise of Mayo Clinic," states John Noseworthy, MD, president and CEO of the Mayo Clinic. Mayo kicked off a hospital affiliation program this past May, allying itself with the Altru Health System in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

The Cleveland Clinic rolled out a similar program several years ago, while Pennsylvania’s M.D. Anderson Cancer Center has a related type of affiliate programs in place.

Officials claim the new partnerships are not being sought out to acquire practices, which is why they intend to utilize the subscription model. Rather, they aim to strengthen relationships between the organizations and large single-specialty groups, many of which aim to team up with large health care organizations as a means of leveraging the benefits of health care reform.