ROCHESTER, Minnesota– Mayo Clinic said Monday that it raised $1.35 billion to help the cash-strapped nonprofit group fund professorships, construction of specialty centers and research into cancer, depression and personalized medicine.
The five-year Campaign for Mayo Clinic, the organization’s first all-out fundraising effort, exceeded its initial goal of $1.25 billion.
“We exceeded our goal despite the unanticipated economic crisis that hit this country when we still had a year and a half to go,” Mayo CEO Dr. John Noseworthy said in a statement. “Surpassing this goal is important since Mayo Clinic’s business and mission — ‘to provide the best care to every patient every day’ — is rooted in providing high-quality care, education and research. The campaign’s success is a reflection of the trust patients and the public have in Mayo Clinic.”
The money comes at a good time for Mayo. Despite its global prestige, the organization has been hit hard by the weak economy and a dysfunctional health care system. In 2008, Mayo broke even, generating $7.22 billion in revenue, according to its most recent annual report. Revenue was up 4.5 percent over 2007 but expenses rose even faster at 7.6 percent. Income from current activities have been in a free fall, falling from $250 million in 2004 to zero four years later.
One reason for Mayo’s financial weakness: The hospital loses millions of dollars each year caring for Medicare patients, a reason why Mayo has been pushing Congress to overhaul Medicare reimbursement formulas to reward quality instead of volume. Mayo, which recently decided to stop accepting Medicare patients at one of its primary care facilities in Glendale, Ariz., has suggested it will cut back more services.
In response, Mayo is trying to generate more revenue from its brand and technologies. The hospital recently published the Mayo Clinic Diet Book, which debuted as No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list earlier this month. Mayo also partnered with DoApps Inc. to launch mRemedy, a new company that will develop and sell smart phone applications based on Mayo Research. The group’s Office of Intellectual Property is exploring ways to better collaborate with outside companies and venture firms and use internal resources to seed fund Mayo-bred companies.
“We received gifts from more than 286,000 benefactors during the [fundraising] campaign,” James Lyddy, chair of Mayo Clinic Department of Development, said in a statement. “The successful campaign better positions Mayo to achieve and thrive in its mission in the short term and long term. Transformations made possible by our grateful benefactors already are being realized.”
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