Cleveland Clinic enlightens debate on health care reform — MedCity Morning Read, June 22, 2009

CNN’s State of the Union host and chief national correspondent John King went inside the Cleveland Clinic for online and broadcast reports on the next generation of health care in America.

Embedded video from CNN Video

CLEVELAND, Ohio — CNN’s State of the Union host and chief national correspondent John King went inside the Cleveland Clinic for a Friday online report and a Sunday broadcast report about the next generation of health care in America.

“Everything we do is done withe patient at the center, not the doctor at the center,” Dr. Steven Nissen told King as he took him a tour of the Clinic’s Miller Family Pavilion — its state-of-the-art heart hospital opened last fall — which houses its heart and vascular institute.

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The Clinic is consistently among the nation’s top-ranked hospitals for quality of care, and its costs are among the lowest, King said. That’s why President Obama cites the Clinic as an example of how health care in America should be. That’s also why doctors like Nissen and others at the Clinic are consulted by lawmakers and administration leaders who are pushing for health care reform, King said.

One of the ways the Clinic enhances care and keeps down costs is by using an institute model in which medical professionals from cardiologists to cardiovascular surgeons practice side-by-side rather than in separate and often competing departments, Nissen said.

The Clinic also emphasizes wellness — it doesn’t hire smokers, and offers healthy food and a weekly farmers’ market at its main campus. It conducts yoga classes for staff and patients.

The collective effort has helped Clinic employees drop 75,000 pounds, so far, and has lowered hospital’s own health care costs, Dr. Toby Cosgrove, the Clinic’s chief executive, said in the CNN reports. This helps employees and patients reduce their heart disease risk from the three leading causes: obesity, lack of exercise and smoking, Cosgrove said.

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