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Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS -

CLEVE­LAND— The Cleve­land Clinic is putting the fi­nal touches on a $75 mil­lion build­ing that of­fi­cials say they hope will pump new blood into the sys­tem’s rev­enue stream, Modern Health­care sis­ter pub­li­ca­tion Crain’s Cleve­land Busi­ness re­ported. The three-story, 135,000-square­foot build­ing will house the clinic’s Pathol­ogy and Lab­o­ra­tory Medicine In­sti­tute. The lab on the clinic’s main cam­pus cur­rently con­ducts about 12 mil­lion med­i­cal tests a year; about 10% of those tests are per­formed for a fee for providers across the coun­try. Of­fi­cials wouldn’t dis­close how much rev­enue the lab gen­er­ates, but with the con­struc­tion of the new build­ing, the clinic hopes to quadru­ple that busi­ness line over the next five years, said Dr. David Bosler, head of Cleve­land Clinic Lab­o­ra­to­ries. The move to ex­pand its lab­o­ra­tory op­er­a­tions aligns with the clinic’s over­all strat­egy to diversify rev­enue given the uncer­tainty sur­round­ing govern­ment re­im­burse­ments and a dwin­dling pa­tient base in the re­gion. “It’s a large mar­ket, and even the big­gest hos­pi­tals send out some test­ing,” said Dr. Kandice Kot­tkeMarchant, chair of the clinic’s Pathol­ogy and Lab­o­ra­tory Medicine In­sti­tute. The Mayo Clinic—one of Cleve­land Clinic’s top com­peti­tors—in Rochester, Minn., runs one of the largest groups of med­i­cal lab­o­ra­to­ries in the coun­try. Ac­cord­ing to a spokesman, Mayo’s lab­o­ra­to­ries per­form 20 mil­lion tests a year and have more than 4,000 clients from all 50 states and more than 60 coun­tries. CHICAGO— The Cook County Health & Hos­pi­tals Sys­tem is seek­ing ap­proval to add thou­sands of unin­sured pa­tients to the Med­i­caid rolls nearly two years early, a move that could gen­er­ate mil­lions of dol­lars in new rev­enue for the cash­strapped net­work, Modern Health­care sis­ter pub­li­ca­tion Crain’s Chicago Busi­ness re­ported. The fed­eral health­care over­haul calls for a mas­sive en­large­ment of the Med­i­caid pro­gram in 2014. The county health sys­tem will pro­pose cre­at­ing a co­or­di­nated-care net­work that would con­nect pa­tients with pri­mary-care physi­cians. The goal is to slash over­all Med­i­caid spend­ing by in­creas­ing pre­ven­tive care and lim­it­ing ex­pen­sive hos­pi­tal stays, said Dr. Ra­manathan Raju, the sys­tem’s CEO. “By mak­ing sure the pa­tients go to their doc­tors in a timely fash­ion, mak­ing sure they take their med­i­ca­tion on time, a lot of high-end emer­gency care can be avoided,” Raju said. Ap­proval would mean that the pub­lic health sys­tem would be re­im­bursed for some of the roughly $550 mil­lion of an­nual free care it now pro­vides. The sys­tem treats about 100,000 unin­sured pa­tients a year, though that in­cludes peo­ple who are in­el­i­gi­ble for Med­i­caid. The additional rev­enue could re­duce the an­nual sub­sidy—$252 mil­lion for 2012— that county tax­pay­ers pay to keep the health sys­tem afloat. Push­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion through is at the top of the health sys­tem’s “life or death” list for fi­nan­cial sur­vival, said War­ren Batts, chair­man of the independent hos­pi­tal board that over­sees the health sys­tem. The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion al­ready has ap­proved an early start to the new Med­i­caid rules in four states, ac­cord­ing to the Kaiser Fam­ily Foun­da­tion. BIS­MARCK, N.D.— San­ford Health and Med­cen­ter One are talk­ing—but they’re not merg­ing. And, ex­cept for the state­ments re­leased by two of their ex­ec­u­tives, they’re not talk­ing to the me­dia ei­ther. “Med­cen­ter One has not agreed to merge with San­ford Health,” Dr. Craig Lambrecht, Med­cen­ter One pres­i­dent and CEO, said in his state­ment. “Med­cen­ter One has al­ways taken the ap­proach of reach­ing out and work­ing with other health­care sys­tems to en­sure we meet the needs of our pa­tients as well as pro­vide our staff with nec­es­sary re­sources to ful­fill our ser­vice mis­sion.” An­drew Richburg, San­ford’s ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent for mar­ket­ing, is­sued a sim­i­lar state­ment. “It’s not un­usual for health­care lead­ers to visit about find­ing ways to work to­gether, es­pe­cially as we look at the health­care land­scape in Amer­ica to­day,” Richburg said. San­ford is a 20-hos­pi­tal in­te­grated sys­tem with head­quar­ters in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Fargo, N.D. Med­cen­ter One is a 166-doc­tor in­te­grated sys­tem an­chored by its name­sake 203-bed hos­pi­tal in Bis­marck. San­ford saw sig­nif­i­cant growth in 2011. The sys­tem closed the year with the ac­qui­si­tion of the Broad­way Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Alexan­dria, Minn., and ear­lier in the year un­veiled plans for a $360 mil­lion med­i­cal cen­ter to be built in Fargo and ac­quired 118-bed North Coun­try Re­gional Hos­pi­tal in Bemidji, Minn. Lambrecht added in his state­ment that San­ford is not the only or­ga­ni­za­tion Med­cen­ter One was speak­ing with. IN­DI­ANAPO­LIS— The city’s four large health sys­tems are in­creas­ingly com­pet­ing for the same pa­tients as they try to ex­pand fur­ther into the sub­urbs and into each other’s tra­di­tional ge­o­graphic mar­kets, ac­cord­ing to a re­port from the Washington-based Cen­ter for Study­ing Health Sys­tem Change. Hav­ing sur­vived rel­a­tively well through the eco­nomic down­turn, the In­di­anapo­lis re­gion ex­hibits lower-than-av­er­age unin­sured and un­em­ploy­ment rates and aboveav­er­age pop­u­la­tion growth, and health sys­tems have pur­sued a bat­tle of “bricks and mor­tar” for these pa­tients, par­tic­u­larly in sub­ur­ban mar­kets, ac­cord­ing to the study. The au­thors note that In­di­anapo­lis has em­braced consumer-di­rected health plans more than the rest of the coun­try has and that its safety net re­mains rel­a­tively sta­ble. The re­sults are based on in-per­son in­ter­views con­ducted in the re­gion as part of the HSC’S Com­mu­nity Track­ing Study site vis­its.

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