As part of its continuing commitment to promote access to healthcare and healthy behaviors in our communities, Cleveland Clinic invested more than $1 billion in community benefit in 2018, the most in the health system’s history.
Cleveland Clinic’s total community benefit increased 6% to $1.04 billion in 2018 from $981.4 million in 2017. The figures reflect all health system operations for Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, Florida, and Nevada.
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.
“We want every community we serve to be the healthiest community possible,” said Cleveland Clinic CEO and President Tom Mihaljevic, M.D. “Our community benefit demonstrates our focus on creating a healthier population. Caring for patients requires that we care for our communities everywhere we are.”
As a nonprofit hospital system, Cleveland Clinic is a community asset with no owners, investors or stockholders. Any and all extra funds from operations are invested back into the health system to support patient care, research, education, and long-standing charitable efforts.
Community benefit data is calculated in accordance with IRS Form 990 reporting guidelines and includes activities that improve access to health services, enhance public health, advance general knowledge and relieve government burden. The primary categories for assessing community benefit include:
Financial Assistance – $130.7 million
Cleveland Clinic’s financial assistance – free or discounted medical care provided to those patients unable to pay some or all of their bills – increased 19% from 2017 to 2018.
Cleveland Clinic 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 – $471.0 million
Cleveland Clinic experienced a 5.1% increase in Medicaid Shortfall from 2017 to 2018. Funded by state and federal governments, Medicaid provides healthcare coverage for low-income families and individuals. In many states, including Ohio, Medicaid payments have not been sufficient to cover the costs of treating Medicaid beneficiaries. In 2018, our Medicaid costs included $6.2 million net contribution to Ohio’s Hospital Care Assurance Program (HCAP).
Subsidized Health Services – $26.3 million
Cleveland Clinic’s subsidized health services – which increased approximately 4% from 2017 to 2018 – include pediatric programs, psychiatric/behavioral health programs, obstetrics services, chronic disease management and outpatient clinics. Excluding financial assistance costs and Medicaid shortfalls, Cleveland Clinic provided subsidized health services in 2018 at a cost of $26.3 million.
Outreach Programs – $39.2 million
Cleveland Clinic outreach programs align with the community needs identified in the hospitals’ Community Health Needs Assessments, with a focus on community health, specifically chronic disease prevention and management, infant mortality, opioid crisis and socioeconomic concerns. In 2018, these costs increased 4.5% compared to 2017.
- The Stephanie Tubbs Jones Family Health Center provides programs which teach community members about prevention, wellness, nutrition and behavior modification. Navigation services connect community members with support programs.
- Community classes and interactive web chats offer health education on chronic disease management in the areas of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, asthma and brain health. Cleveland Clinic hospitals and family health centers provide classes that teach healthy lifestyles for adults, seniors and youths.
- The Healthy Community initiatives connect residents with local resources in a collaborative effort to strengthen communities through wellness activities, academic achievement and career preparedness.
- Health fairs provide thousands of people with free health screenings. The Cleveland Clinic Minority Men’s Health Fair, Celebrating Sisterhood, Tu Familia, Pink and Beyond, and neighborhood fairs educate community members on the benefits of preventive healthcare.
- Collaborative initiatives with community nonprofits and local government address population health issues, such as the opioid crisis and infant mortality.
Education of health professionals – $293.2 million
Cleveland Clinic education initiatives cover a wide range of medical education programs, including 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. For 2018, Cleveland Clinic’s total expenditure in support of education was $298.2 million, partially offset by $5 million in grants and other external funding, resulting in a net cost of $293.2 million.
Research – $77.7 million
Research into diseases and cures is an investment in society’s long-term health. From a community benefit standpoint, research includes basic, clinical and community health research, as well as studies on healthcare delivery. With nearly 1,500 researchers and support personnel in 175 laboratories in 12 departments, Lerner Research Institute is one of the largest research institutes in the nation. In 2018, Cleveland Clinic’s total expenditure in support of research was $243.4 million, offset by $165.7 million in grants and other external funding, resulting in a net cost of $77.7 million.
“Our community benefit is just one measure of Cleveland Clinic’s commitment to our neighbors,” Dr. Mihaljevic said. “In addition to providing healthcare services, we support communities economically by hiring locally and also participate in community service through paid-time-off volunteer initiatives. We are intent on giving back, uplifting our neighborhoods, and remaining a critical part of our communities’ social fabric.”
Read or download the entire community benefit report here.