Cleveland Clinic has expanded its direct-to-employer offerings to include a Musculoskeletal Center of Excellence and Bariatric Center of Excellence, according to a news release.
For more than a decade, the Clinic has been offering direct-to-employer products — options that aim to help employers manage costs and provide employees and their covered dependents access to Cleveland Clinic care in Ohio, the release stated. The Clinic's program began with its Cardiac Center of Excellence that assists those in need of non-emergent heart surgeries.
Through a center of excellence, employers can offer their employees specialized healthcare from experienced Clinic doctors, nurses and technicians, said Dr. Robert Lorenz, executive medical director of Market and Network Services at the Clinic, in the release.
"The effects of healthcare access inequality are two-fold — it affects how patients are cared for when sick as well as their future health," Lorenz said. "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."
In center of excellence programs, the first step is a medical record review conducted by a Clinic surgeon, which in some cases results in altering the original treatment plan and can mean patients avoiding surgical procedures altogether, according to the release, which notes this is a benefit to patients and results in cost savings to employers.
Depending upon employer coverage, the Clinic assists in travel arrangements and concierge services for program participants, and other benefits include patient navigators to assist in coordinating with home providers and virtual care options.
Supported by the Clinic's Center for Spine Health and the its Orthopaedic & Rheumatologic Institute, the Musculoskeletal Center of Excellence will help patients with lower-back pain who have received a spine surgery diagnosis, according to the release. As part of the health system's Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, 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.
"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 the Clinic, in a statement. "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."
This story first appeared in our sister publication, Crain's Cleveland Business.