Cleveland Clinic CEO Says Operating Income Dropped by Half in 2016

Feb 15, 2017

The Cleveland Clinic saw a substantial drop in operating income in 2016 -- more than 50 percent over the previous year. But as WCPN's Marlene Harris-Taylor for Ohio Public Radio, the clinic’s balance sheet is still in the black, with more than $243 million in operating income.

The Cleveland Clinic is now the largest employer in Ohio with more than 51,000 employees, according to CEO Toby Cosgrove.

In his annual State of the Clinic address, Cosgrove painted a picture of an organization that is continuing to grow in size and through medical innovations, while facing shrinking revenue from the government, which pays the bills for Medicare and Medicaid patients.

"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 older patients and sicker patients.”

Cosgrove says the clinic continues to enlarge its global footprint. It just closed a deal to build a 205-bed hospital in London slated to open in 2020. Cosgrove says some of the profits from the clinic’s international operations have been reinvested in Cleveland, and he expects similar results from London.

Cosgrove also said the Clinic is facing uncertainty with likely changes to the Affordable Care Act. He stressed he is happy to have a seat at the table as part of President Trump’s business-leader advisory group.

“I don’t think we are going to see repeal. I think it’s going to be more like repair. I think we’ll see some changes in the health-care bill. I don’t think there will be catastrophic repeal.

If Obamacare is repealed, Cosgrove estimates some 20 million people would be left without health insurance. Cosgrove says he’s also given input to President Trump about the recent executive order banning travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries. He stressed the importance of people coming to the U.S. for treatment and training.

“I think they realize it was not implemented wel,l and they listened and we’ll have to see what they take back.”