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Cleveland Clinic Announces Alliance with Community Health Systems

March 11, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
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Cleveland Clinic, a nonprofit multi-specialty academic medical center, has announced it's aligning with the Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems, an operator of 135 general acute care hospitals in non-urban and mid-size markets throughout the country. The alliance brings together a notable non-profit healthcare organization with a for-profit company, and will be an attempt to "enhance patient care, improve access to healthcare services, reduce costs and drive operational excellence,” the two organizations jointly announced.

The alliance will draw on the strengths of both organizations, in areas such as clinical services, physician alignment and integration, and supply chain processes. “While the two organizations will remain independent, we are both committed to discovering novel strategies to improve care, reduce costs, enhance access to healthcare services and develop new approaches to care delivery,” Toby M. Cosgrove, M.D., CEO of Cleveland Clinic, said in a post on Cleveland Clinic’s LinkedIn page.

Much of this has to do with today’s healthcare market, Cosgrove continued. He said, “the sheer number of services, supplies, technology, and maintenance that needs to be purchased and tracked is mind-boggling.” In a recent Top 10 Tech Trends piece, HCI Contributing Editor David Raths wrote about this phenomenon.

According to the organizations, the collaboration will focus on three specific areas in the beginning. The first one is being called Quality Alliance, where Cleveland Clinic will assist Community Health Systems with clinical integration programs at its affiliated hospitals through framework in which physicians can share best practices and capture, report and compare data in a standardized format.

The second area is on cardiovascular services with Cleveland Clinic's Heart & Vascular Institute assessing selected CHS-affiliated hospitals for the opportunity to apply the institute's expertise in cardiovascular services. The third area is clinical and operational services, which may include telemedicine initiatives, second opinion services for physicians and patients, complex care coordination, and other practices in care, and cost containment.

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