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Cleveland Clinic, CHS Form Strategic Partnership

In an effort to boost patient quality, reduce costs and improve access to healthcare, two major health systems — Cleveland Clinic and Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems — have created a groundbreaking strategic alliance.

Cleveland ClinicThe partnership is not a merger or acquisition — it is a collaborative relationship in which both organizations will remain independent entities.

The alliance between non-profit Cleveland Clinic and for-profit CHS is unlike many others in terms of size and scope, and it centers around three main areas: quality, cardiovascular services and clinical/operational services.

Community Health SystemsFor quality improvement, Cleveland Clinic leaders will help CHS establish clinical integration programs at CHS' hospitals, including a model for physicians to share best practices and support better patient outcomes. For cardiovascular services, Cleveland Clinic's Heart & Vascular Institute will assess certain CHS hospitals to use the institute's expertise to enhance heart care quality and data. And for clinical/operational services, both organizations will work on ways to share best practices to reduce the cost of healthcare, including telehealth and complex care coordination.

"As we face an unprecedented transformation in healthcare, we need to adapt and embrace change. This new relationship is reflective of Cleveland Clinic's culture of collaboration and desire to exchange knowledge," Toby Cosgrove, MD, president and CEO of Cleveland Clinic, said in a news release. "As healthcare reform moves forward, we remain focused and committed to providing the highest quality, value and efficiency of care to patients locally and nationally. Our collaboration with Community Health Systems advances these efforts."

"Our commitment to quality care has never been stronger," added Wayne Smith, chairman, president and CEO of CHS. "We have the foundation, capacity and fortitude to build an even better healthcare system, and we look forward to working with Cleveland Clinic as we achieve even higher levels of clinical performance."

Cleveland Clinic, a renowned academic medical center, has a main downtown Cleveland campus as well as eight community hospitals, a Florida campus and a new campus in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. CHS, the second-largest for-profit hospital operator in the country, currently owns, operates or leases 135 hospitals across 29 states.

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