Cleveland Clinic Florida Launches Centers of Excellence Offerings for Employers

The new programs are designed to help manage costs and provide access to Cleveland Clinic care in Florida

Cleveland Clinic Florida launched its direct-to-employer offerings to include a Musculoskeletal Center of Excellence and Bariatric Center of Excellence. These options enable employers to manage costs while providing employees and their covered dependents with access to care at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and Florida. In Florida, the program will begin at the Weston hospital and will eventually expand to other Florida locations.

“We know the effects of access inequality are two-fold — it affects how patients are cared for when sick as well as their future health,” Conor Delaney says, CEO and president of Cleveland Clinic Florida. “These new centers of excellence programs assist in making healthcare accessible and achievable. Our team is dedicated to finding the right options that fit the needs of employees and employers no matter where they are located.”

A critical first step in these programs is the medical record review conducted by an expert Cleveland Clinic Florida surgeon. Sometimes, this review alters the original treatment plan and patients avoid surgical procedures altogether. This process benefits the patient and results in employers’ cost savings. In addition, depending upon employer coverage, Cleveland Clinic Florida assists in orchestrating travel arrangements and provides concierge services for program participants. Other benefits include patient navigators who help in coordinating with home providers and virtual care options.

“When working with employers, we have experienced their need, and their constant work, to address inconsistent healthcare quality and rising costs,” Wesley Wolfe says, executive director of Market and Network Services at Cleveland Clinic. “These new innovative centers of excellence aim not only to improve access to care, but help employers add a benefits solution that assists in retaining employees. By offering programs like our centers of excellence, employers give employees access to higher-quality care at a lower cost.”

Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Spine Health, part of the Neurological Institute, plays a vital role in the Musculoskeletal Center of Excellence. An essential part of this new COE includes helping patients with lower back pain that have received a spine surgery diagnosis. Cleveland Clinic’s group practice physician model ensures there’s no incentive to provide surgical intervention. This process means experts work to ensure each patient has the correct diagnosis and treatment plan, resulting in one in eight patients pursuing a surgical pathway in the first year. Center for Spine Health clinicians utilize the most innovative, effective medical and surgical treatments when surgery is necessary. It’s why the Neurological Institute performs over 4,000 surgeries annually and is considered an innovative leader in quality and care.

Also involved with the musculoskeletal center of excellence is the Orthopaedic & Rheumatologic Institute, which works to rehabilitate employees through efficient hospital stays and recovery times that allow patients to return to work sooner. Orthopedic specialists in Florida and Ohio perform more than 8,000 hip and knee replacement surgeries annually, with outcomes consistently better than national averages.

As part of the health system’s Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, an American College of Surgeons Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accredited Quality Program, the Bariatric Center of Excellence physicians review the participant’s medical history and diagnosis before determining the correct course of treatment. A patient navigator is a single point of contact throughout a patient’s weight loss surgery journey. Cleveland Clinic’s bariatric surgeons perform more than 95% of all procedures with minimally invasive (laparoscopic) techniques, improving patients’ healing and recovery.

“Providing comprehensive, equitable care for all patients, regardless of where they’re located, is a vital part of Cleveland Clinic’s mission,” Dr. Delaney says. “Through thorough and constant market evaluations, we saw a very real need for these programs in both Ohio and Florida. We’re hopeful these new solutions will combat health disparities and will assist employers in cost savings as we work to provide compassionate care for every patient.”

More information about Cleveland Clinic’s Centers of Excellence is available at

SFBW Staff
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