In 2016 Cleveland Clinic provided $809 million in community benefit in Ohio, Nevada and Florida, a 17 percent increase over 2015.
Community benefit is a measure of a hospital’s investment in its community through outreach programs, medical education, research, financial assistance, coverage of Medicaid shortfalls, and subsidized care.
“As a non-profit academic medical center, we are a community asset with no owners, investors or stockholders,” said Toby Cosgrove, M.D., President and CEO of Cleveland Clinic. “Any and all operating surplus is invested back into the health system to support new research and education initiatives and to cultivate a healthier population by promoting access to healthcare and encouraging healthy behaviors and lifestyles in our communities.”
Cleveland Clinic calculates community benefit conforming to the IRS Form 990 guidelines. Community benefit includes activities or programs that improve access to health services, enhance public health, advance generalizable knowledge and relieve government burden. Cleveland Clinic’s 2016 totals marked the highest level of community benefit in its reporting history.
“Cleveland Clinic is committed to meeting the health and wellness needs of the populations we serve,” said Steve Glass, Cleveland Clinic’s Chief Financial Officer. “Our community benefit efforts support our founding principles: better care of the sick, educating the next generation of healthcare professionals, and funding medical research that leads to advanced treatments and cures.”
The primary categories for assessing community benefit include financial assistance, Medicaid shortfall, subsidized health services, outreach programs, education and research:
Financial assistance — $86.2 million
Financial assistance is the amount of free or discounted medically necessary care provided to those patients unable to pay some or all of their bills. Cleveland Clinic’s financial assistance policy provides free or discounted care to patients with incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level and covers both hospital care and our employed physician services.
Medicaid shortfall — $328.5 million
The Medicaid program, which provides healthcare coverage for low-income families and individuals, is funded by state and federal governments. In many states, including Ohio, Medicaid payments have not been sufficient to cover the costs of treating Medicaid beneficiaries. In 2016, Cleveland Clinic experienced a 35 percent increase in Medicaid shortfall compared to 2015.
Subsidized health services — $19.6 million
Subsidized health services are clinical services provided to meet the needs of the community despite creating a financial loss. Subsidized health services within Cleveland Clinic include pediatric programs, psychiatric/behavioral health programs, obstetrics services, chronic disease management and outpatient clinics.
Outreach programs — $38.1 million
Cleveland Clinic’s outreach programs are designed to serve the most vulnerable and at-risk populations as identified in our comprehensive Community Health Needs Assessments.
Programs range from free wellness initiatives, health screenings, clinical services and education to enrollment assistance for government-funded health programs.
In 2016, highlights included:
- Wellness initiatives in the areas of disease/injury prevention and behavioral change, including tobacco cessation, nutrition improvement, exercise, substance abuse, child safety, teen parenting and domestic violence. Programs were provided to schools, faith-based organizations, community centers, and collaborating cities and counties.
- Health fairs provided thousands of people with free health screenings, including the Cleveland Clinic Minority Men’s Health Fair, Celebrating Sisterhood, Tu Familia and neighborhood preventive health fairs.
- Cleveland Clinic provided no-cost clinical and wellness services to under- and uninsured families at community sites, including Langston Hughes Health & Education Center and our pediatric mobile unit. Laboratory and vision services were donated to Cleveland-area organizations.
- Collaborative initiatives with community nonprofit organizations and local governments addressed critical population health issues, including the opioid epidemic and infant mortality.
Education — $272.3 million
Cleveland Clinic takes pride in a wide range of high-quality medical education that includes accredited training programs for residents, physicians, nurses and allied health professionals. By educating medical professionals, we ensure that the public is receiving the highest standard of medical care and will have highly trained health professionals to care for them in the future.
Research — $64.0 million
Research into diseases and their cures is an investment in people’s long-term health. From a community benefit standpoint, research includes basic, clinical and community health research, as well as studies on healthcare delivery. Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute is continually bringing medical advances into patient care and to the medical world through the development of new techniques, devices and treatment protocols. Over 1,900 scientists and support personnel, including 179 principal investigators, are providing research at Cleveland Clinic.
Cleveland Clinic’s 2016 Community Benefit Report can be seen at http://www.clevelandclinic.org/communitybenefit.