Cleveland Clinic Expands Centers of Excellence Offerings for Employers

New programs are designed to help manage costs and provide access to Cleveland Clinic care in Ohio

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Katrina Healy 216.386.0955

Cleveland Clinic has expanded its direct-to-employer offerings to include a Musculoskeletal Center of Excellence and Bariatric Center of Excellence. These options help employers manage costs while also providing employees and their covered dependents with access to care at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

Cleveland Clinic has more than 12 years of experience in offering direct-to-employer products. The program began with the Cardiac Center of Excellence, which assists those in need of non-emergent heart surgeries.

“By choosing a center of excellence, employers can offer employees specialized healthcare from experienced Cleveland Clinic doctors, nurses, and technicians,” said Robert Lorenz, M.D., executive medical director of Market and Network Services at Cleveland Clinic. “The effects of healthcare access inequality are two-fold — it affects how patients are cared for when sick as well as their future health. Our centers of excellence make equitable healthcare not only possible but achievable. We know these types of healthcare solutions are not always available close to home, which is why we help employers find an option that fits their needs as well as the needs of their employees no matter where they are located.”

A critical first step in the center of excellence programs is the medical record review conducted by an expert Cleveland Clinic surgeon. In some cases, this review results in altering the original treatment plan and patients can avoid surgical procedures altogether. This benefits not only the patient but results in cost savings for employers. In addition, depending upon employer coverage, Cleveland Clinic then assists in orchestrating travel arrangements and provides concierge services for program participants. Other benefits include patient navigators who assist in coordinating with home providers and virtual care options.

 “When working with employers we have experienced their need, and their constant work, to address inconsistent healthcare quality and rising costs,” said Wesley Wolfe, executive director of Market and Network Services at Cleveland Clinic. “These new innovative centers of excellence aim not only to improve access to care, but help employers add a benefits solution that assists in retaining employees. By offering programs like our centers of excellence, employers give employees access to higher-quality care at a lower cost.”

Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Spine Health, part of the Neurological Institute that includes the neurology and neurosurgery program ranked No. 1 in Ohio and No. 7 nationally by U.S. News & World Report, plays a vital part in the Musculoskeletal Center of Excellence. An essential part of this new center of excellence includes helping patients with lower-back pain that have received a spine surgery diagnosis. Cleveland Clinic’s group practice physician model ensures there’s no incentive to provide surgical intervention. This means that experts work to make certain each patient has the correct diagnosis and treatment plan, resulting in only 1 in 8 patients pursing a surgical pathway in the first year. When surgery is absolutely necessary, Center for Spine Health clinicians utilize the most innovative, effective medical and surgical treatments available. It’s why the Neurological Institute performs more than 4,000 surgeries annually and is considered an innovative leader in quality and care. 

The Musculoskeletal Center of Excellence is also supported by Cleveland Clinic’s Orthopaedic & Rheumatologic Institute. Its orthopaedic program is ranked No. 1 in Ohio and No. 7 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. One of the priorities of the center of excellence is rehabilitating employees through efficient hospital stays and recovery times that allow patients to return to work sooner. Orthopaedic specialists in Ohio and Florida perform more than 8,000 hip and knee replacement surgeries annually with outcomes consistently better than national averages.

As part of the health system’s Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, an American College of Surgeons Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accredited Quality Program, the new Bariatric Center of Excellence physicians review a participant’s medical history and diagnosis before determining the correct course of treatment. A patient navigator serves as a single point of contact throughout a patient’s weight loss surgery journey. Cleveland Clinic’s bariatric surgeons perform more than 95% of all procedures with minimally invasive (laparoscopic) techniques, improving patients’ healing and recovery time.

More information about Cleveland Clinic’s Centers of Excellence is available at

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. Cleveland Clinic is consistently recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for its expertise and care. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 77,000 employees worldwide are more than 5,658 salaried physicians and researchers, and 19,000 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,699-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 23 hospitals, more than 275 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2022, there were 12.8 million outpatient encounters, 303,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 270,000 surgeries and procedures throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at Follow us at News and resources available at

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