20 things to know about Cleveland Clinic's ever-expanding reach

Since opening its doors in northern Ohio 94 years ago, the nonprofit Cleveland Clinic has grown to become a world-renowned academic medical center and health system, seeing more than 5 million patients at its facilities each year.

Cleveland Clinic welcomed its first patients on Feb. 28, 1921. In its early days, the system operated out of a four-story building where its staff was comprised of six surgeons, four internists, a radiologist, an otolaryngologist and a biophysicist.

Over the years, Cleveland Clinic has expanded its network's reach through affiliation and partnership agreements as well as through acquisitions. Here are 20 things to know about how the health system has grown in recent years.

Affiliate network
1. The health system has drastically expanded its reach through the Cleveland Clinic Affiliate Network, which provides regional systems with clinical consulting and a branded affiliation, as well as the opportunity to enter into bundled payment contracts with employers.

2. Cleveland Clinic has entered into many agreements through its affiliate network in recent years, with 24 systems that have signed up to be either cardiovascular or orthopedic and spine network affiliates — the specialties represented in the network to date.

3. The Cleveland Clinic Heart & Vascular Affiliate Program began in 1994 and continues to grow. The system has cardiovascular affiliates across the nation, including in Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas.

4. Cleveland Clinic works with cardiovascular programs through the Heart & Vascular Affiliate Program to provide management services, including clinical direction, quality assurance and access to the latest technologies and techniques.

5. In 2013, Cleveland Clinic's Heart & Vascular Institute began a clinical and research alliance with the MedStar Heart Institute in Washington, D.C., combining the academic, clinical and research components of both organizations to allow them to better collaborate on high-level research projects.

6. The clinical and research alliance called the Cleveland Clinic Cardiovascular Specialty Network has grown to include two additional organizations — Dallas-based Baylor Scott & White Health and Manhasset, N.Y.-based North Shore-LIJ Health System.

7. There are three organizations in Cleveland Clinic's National Orthopaedic & Spine Alliance — The Core Institute in Phoenix, OrthoCarolina in Charlotte, N.C., and the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia.

Joining forces for population health
8. Cleveland Clinic has increased its focus on population health in recent years, which has led to further collaboration with other health systems.

9. In January, Cleveland Clinic partnered with five other health systems in Ohio — including Columbus-based Ohio Health and Toledo-based ProMedica — to form the Midwest Health Collaborative to share best practices, reduce costs and innovate in their population health efforts.

10. Together, the systems in the Midwest Health Collaborative represent 40 hospitals and more than 100,000 employees. Key initiatives of the collaborative include supply chain management and innovative payment models.

11. Cleveland Clinic also formed an accountable care organization to further improve its population health efforts. In February, the system announced that it had been selected to join the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

12. Regarding its decision to form an ACO, Cleveland Clinic's Chief Clinical Transformation Officer Michael Modic, MD, said, "This is one more way in which we are continuing to accelerate the pace of clinical transformation to keep patient populations as healthy as possible and address the preventive and chronic care needs of every patient."

Reaching international and out-of-state patients
13. Cleveland Clinic expanded its reach to Nevada when it began offering services in Las Vegas at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, which opened its doors in July 2009. The Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health currently treats patients for a variety of neurological disorders, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's diseases and memory disorders of all kinds.

14. In April 2013, the health system began offering services at a separate site in Las Vegas — Cleveland Clinic Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute.

15. Cleveland Clinic also has facilities in Florida, including an integrated medical campus in Weston, Fla.

16. The health system has expanded beyond the borders of the U.S., with Clinics in Toronto and Abu Dhabi.

17. Cleveland Clinic signed an agreement with Mubadala Development Company in September 2006 to design, manage and operate a hospital in Abu Dhabi. The medical center fully opened in May 2015. The hospital is organized into the following 12 institutes:

  • Anesthesiology
  • Digestive disease
  • Emergency medicine
  • Eye
  • Heart and vascular
  • Imaging
  • Medical subspecialties
  • Neurological
  • Quality and patient safety
  • Pathology and laboratory medicine
  • Respiratory and critical care
  • Surgical subspecialties

18. Physicians at Cleveland Clinic's location in Toronto specialize in executive health, sports health and lifestyle management programs.

Cleveland Clinic-Akron General deal
19. In its most-recent deal, Cleveland Clinic expanded its presence in the state of Ohio. In August, Cleveland Clinic announced it is exercising an option to take on full ownership of Akron (Ohio) General Health System after just one year as a minority investor in the system.

20. If the deal receives state and federal regulatory approval, the entire Akron General system will become part of Cleveland Clinic within the next few months.

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