Cleveland Clinic CEO To Step Down By Year's End

Dr. Delos "Toby" Cosgrove/Cleveland Clinic Foundation
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Cleveland Clinic’s president and CEO Dr. Delos “Toby” Cosgrove will step down at the end of this year, the clinic said today.

Cosgrove announced the move at a staff meeting Monday morning.

 “It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of an extraordinary and forward-thinking organization that puts patients at the center of everything we do,” Dr. Cosgrove said in a prepared statement.  “Cleveland Clinic’s world-class reputation of clinical excellence, innovation, medical education and research was created and will be maintained by the truly dedicated caregivers who work tirelessly to provide the best care to our patients.”

Cosgrove, a cardiac surgeon, has headed the hospital chain since 2004. Under his leadership, it has become the state’s second largest employer – with roughly 50,000 workers – with locations throughout Ohio, Florida, Nevada, Canada and Abu Dahbi. A hospital will open in London in 2020.

In 2016, however, the hospital’s operating income dropped 50 percent from the previous year, Cosgrove said when giving the “State of the Clinic” address in February.

“It’s more expensive to deliver the care. We saw drug prices for example go up 19 percent and we have just seen it more expensive to deliver care as we are dealing with more older patients and sicker patients,” he told employees.

 Under Cosgrove, the Clinic developed a reputation for having experts who perform cutting edge procedures like the face transplants and cardiac surgery. The brand brought patients from across the country and around the world, says J.B. Silvers, a professor of healthcare finance at Case Weatherhead School of Business.

Now, however, insurers and companies are scrutinizing costs. Silvers says the pressure is on the clinic to keep fees competitive, especially if it wants to service major employers.  

“It’s called value-based payment.  If I look at the quality that I’m getting, how does that compare with the total cost, not just of the surgery but of the recovery and indeed the whole time period that I’m involved?  They have to show progress on those things to be competitive in the future.”

 The Clinic’s Board of Directors and Board of Governors will conduct a national search for Cosgrove’s successor. After the position is filled, Cosgrove will stay on as an advisor.





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