Hospitals

MedCity morning read, Thursday, Feb. 26

The Cleveland Clinic grew significantly last year, despite a national recession, according to media reports. However, the health system is giving growth the yellow light this year.

The  Cleveland Clinic grew significantly last year, despite a national recession, according to media reports. However, the health system is giving growth the yellow light this year.

Last year, Cleveland’s largest employer completed construction on a new facility in West Palm Beach, Fla., opened new heart and urological institute buildings at its main campus and began to develop new operations in Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The health system expects soon to announce the location of a new reference laboratory that eventually could employ 2,000 people on its Cleveland campus, Dr. Delos “Toby” Cosgrove, the system’s president and chief executive, told employees during his annual address Wednesday, according to the Plain Dealer.

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“I know we’re going forward stronger than we’ve ever been before,” Cosgrove told employees.

At the same time, the Clinic is moving forward with caution, he said. Though the Clinic’s workforce grew 6 percent to 39,250  last year, it will restrict hiring and freeze wages this year to avoid layoffs. The system also will cut spending on travel, catering and consulting, Cosgrove has told the Plain Dealer.

Though operating revenue rose to $5.1 billion last year, the Clinic saw operating income dip to $233 million last year, down from a high of $370 million in 2006, according to Crain’s Cleveland Business.

The drop in operating income came in part from the recession, which has stripped many people of jobs and medical insurance, Cosgrove told employees during his State of the Clinic address. Reimbursements from federal health care insurers Medicare and Medicaid also have dropped, he said.

The sluggish economy also has caused the Clinic to put on hold construction of family health centers in Twinsburg and Avon, according to Crain’s.

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