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.