Pay­ing for best prac­tices

Pro­gram links providers, Mayo Clinic re­sources

Modern Healthcare - - The Week In Healthcare - Joe Carl­son

Anew pro­gram from Mayo Clinic gives re­gional hos­pi­tals the chance to pri­vately learn from and pub­licly align them­selves with the well­known doc­tor-run health sys­tem in Rochester, Minn.—for a price.

Sim­i­lar to a long-run­ning af­fil­i­a­tion pro­gram run by the Cleve­land Clinic, the new Mayo Clinic Care Net­work will al­low mem­bers to hang Mayo’s logo on their build­ings and use the sys­tem’s ex­ten­sive in­ter­nal knowl­edge base, Ask Mayo Ex­pert.

Mem­bers can con­sult with Mayo clin­i­cians for spe­cific pa­tient-care ad­vice or get train­ing from ad­min­is­tra­tors on busi­ness con­sult­ing ser­vices.

Mayo of­fi­cials de­clined to out­line their fee struc­ture, as did Cleve­land Clinic, though the one of­fi­cial con­firmed that the Cleve­land fees can some­times sur­pass $1 mil­lion a year, de­pend­ing on their mar­ket size.

David Mol­men, CEO of the Mayo net­work’s in­au­gu­ral mem­ber, Al­tru Health Sys­tem in Grand Forks, N.D., said that only health­care providers who share Mayo’s cul­ture and phi­los­o­phy of pa­tient-cen­tered care are be­ing al­lowed to join the net­work and iden­tify them­selves as be­ing af­fil­i­ated with Mayo.

“Ob­vi­ously, we are very proud to have that iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, and I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate the con­fi­dence that Mayo is plac­ing in our abil­ity to re­flect pos­i­tively on that,” Mol­men said. “It is a great honor to be se­lected, but re­ally I think it’s more of an ex­pec­ta­tion of what we need to be in the fu­ture to be wor­thy of that.”

Dr. David Hayes, med­i­cal di­rec­tor of the Mayo Clinic Care Net­work, said the goal is to “dif­fuse knowl­edge” to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties about best prac­tices.

The con­sul­ta­tions may re­sult in more acutely ill pa­tients be­ing trans­ferred to Mayo for spe­cial treat­ment, Hayes said, while pre­vent­ing trans­fers of other pa­tients who are less sick but in the past may also have been sent to Mayo.

The model is not a new one. Dr. Joseph Cac­chione, chair­man of op­er­a­tions and strat­egy for the Cleve­land Clinic Heart and Vas­cu­lar In­sti­tute, said his or­ga­ni­za­tion has been form­ing af­fil­i­a­tions for heart pro­grams for nearly 10 years and has eight hos­pi­tals in the pro­gram, with more due this year.

In ex­change for pay­ing an­nual fees that may in some cases top seven fig­ures, Cac­chione said, hos­pi­tals ben­e­fit from clin­i­cal ex­per­tise and pub­lic brand-aware­ness.

“We never tell any­one that they’re go­ing to grow lo­cally” be­cause of the af­fil­i­a­tion, Cac­chione said. “But in some places where vol­umes were trend­ing down, that has stopped be­cause of the af­fil­i­a­tion with our brand and the halo ef­fect,” he said. “Some do it as a de­fense mea­sure, and oth­ers do it as a growth strat­egy.”

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