Page 1 of 1

Lies Damn Lies and The Cleveland Clinic

Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:30 am
by Bill Call
The end game is near.

For nearly ten years the Cleveland Clinic has waged a quiet war against Lakewood Hospital. The Clinic transferred Lakewood doctors to other communities, transferred whole departments to other hospitals, undermined independent doctors and specialists and reduced service and patient care.

Each reduction in service, every transfer and every restraint of trade led slowly and inexorably to a weak and uncompetitive Hospital. It wasn't an accident but part of a carefully laid out plan.

Ten years ago I was told by a Clinic doctor that by the time the Avon hospital was built the Clinic intended to leave behind an out dated facility without doctors and without customers. Even with all of that effort Lakewood Hospital still managed $140 million in revenue. No matter.

What now? Fight or give up? Accept a so called "wellness" center designed to fail or demand a proper facility and risk the anger of the Clinic?

I suspect that we will give up. The hospital will be demolished and replaced with a minute clinic. Some might think that I am mischaracterizing the new Clinic building. I'm not.

The proposed structure is half the size of what exists in Brunswick and will be land locked and incapable of being expanded.

As a bonus the Clinic will have access to the $30 million now controlled by the Hospital Foundation. How long will that money last?

It will offer such limited services that more and more patients will find themselves going somewhere else for treatment.

In a few years the Clinic will announce with great sadness that there is no demand for healthcare in Lakewood and close it down. I suspect that the Clinic has already secured a secret agreement with Metro Health and University Hospitals to keep them out of the City.

The Clinic intends to turn Lakewood into a healthcare desert.

What do we have to lose by putting Clinic officials on the stand to defend their actions?

What about the potential for new development on that site?

Talks of new commercial development are just talk. Nothing will be built. The parking garages are in need of major repair, the new Clinic building will take up the most valuable portion of the property and

Outside the downtown Cleveland taxpayer financed entitlement zone commercial development and retail development are failing all across Cuyahoga County.

Re: Lies Damn Lies and The Cleveland Clinic

Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:24 am
by Grace O'Malley
Completely agree and your explanation of how CCF systematically undermined the hospital jibes with what I was told by a prominent Lakewood doctor.

The interest in "commercial" development there is laughable. The leading economic driver today is health care. Why are we excited about losing a hospital and our largest employer to chase retail, the most underperforming and unreliable sort of economic activity? I mean, do these people promoting this live in an alternate reality? Do they not read books or newspapers?

I find it appalling that they seem to be so gleeful over the idea of tearing down a moneymaker and community asset to build their new "West End Development." Another debacle.

Re: Lies Damn Lies and The Cleveland Clinic

Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:04 pm
by Jim O'Bryan
Bill

I hate to ruin a good mystery, but, the Clinic did nothing, the Hospital Board didn't approve
and allow to happen.

The problem was the contract, never spelled out what was expected.

Bill I know you have a massive beef with the clinic, and since you had two appointments
in two different places at the same time, you have been convinced they are closing and
they are evil.

The Cleveland Clinic, did all they promised, and all that was asked of them.

However, the City of Lakewood...

.

Re: Lies Damn Lies and The Cleveland Clinic

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:51 am
by Bill Call
Jim O'Bryan wrote:The Cleveland Clinic, did all they promised, and all that was asked of them.

However, the City of Lakewood...

.


You seem to forget that it is the Cleveland Clinic that made the decision to destroy Lakewood Hospital. Did the Mayor know in November or December? Who cares.

The Clinic was asked to keep the hospital open. Did they do it?

Re: Lies Damn Lies and The Cleveland Clinic

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:52 am
by Michael Deneen
The conspiracy buffs seem to believe that Lakewood Hospital is a viable operation.

If this is the case, why isn't UH interested in taking over?
They know their own industry better than anyone who posts here, so wouldn't they realize that Lakewood is a potentially strong market?
If Lakewood is viable, then why wouldn't UH want to expand its market share by coming here?

Re: Lies Damn Lies and The Cleveland Clinic

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:18 am
by Bill Call
Michael Deneen wrote:The conspiracy buffs seem to believe that Lakewood Hospital is a viable operation.

If this is the case, why isn't UH interested in taking over?
They know their own industry better than anyone who posts here, so wouldn't they realize that Lakewood is a potentially strong market?
If Lakewood is viable, then why wouldn't UH want to expand its market share by coming here?


Lakewood Hospital has been making money for years:

lakewood hospital.pdf
(201.35 KiB) Downloaded 618 times


Keep in mind that those profits came even after the Clinic made every effort to undermine service at the hospital. What would the numbers look like if the Clinic made even a token effort to maintain and improve service?

The Hospital had about $160 million in net assets and very little long term debt.

The Hospital served about 140,000 people per year not including the 35,000 or so that used the emergency room.

While some of Lakewood Hospitals staff and business has been transferred to Fairview Hospital most staff and business has been or will be transferred to Avon. I am pretty sure that the Clinic has been planning that ever since the decision was made to build a hospital in Avon, population 22,000.

I guess it's possible the closing Lakewood Hospital and moving its business to Avon never occurred to anyone at the Clinic until a few months ago but I doubt it. I first heard of the plan over ten years ago.

Why would the Clinic close a money making hospital that serves 180,000 people per year? Good question.

Why isn't University Hospital's interested? When two monopolies serve a stagnant market their interests are served by fixing prices and fixing market share. The two main players have simply agreed not to poach each others business.

Another interesting question: Was this also an inside job?

Were the people on the Board and at City Hall in favor of the destruction of the hospital and if so why.

Re: Lies Damn Lies and The Cleveland Clinic

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:23 am
by christopher dan
Im not sure why the officials said that lakewood hospital is half full...based on the census we always have no less then 200 patients in the hospital............our volumes for our department is up, We have done 4000 more test then any other year since i have been here. I feel bad for the community of Lakewood, they deserve a full acute care hospital. My concern is that they close the hospital earlier then when Avon actually does open. and blame it on low volumes.

Scary times for all........

Re: Lies Damn Lies and The Cleveland Clinic

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:28 am
by Michael Deneen
Why isn't University Hospital's interested? When two monopolies serve a stagnant market their interests are served by fixing prices and fixing market share. The two main players have simply agreed not to poach each others business.

[/quote][/quote]

Agreed not to poach each other's business? Why would UH agree to this?
Despite its "nonprofit" status, UH is out to generate revenue just like any other business.
Pepsi would never say, "Hey, let's just sit back and let Coke keep its market share".
Do you have ANY proof to back up this conspiracy theory?

And if the market is "stagnant", doesn't that reinforce the Clinic's assertion that the current hospital is not viable?

Re: Lies Damn Lies and The Cleveland Clinic

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:43 am
by Bill Call
Michael Deneen wrote:And if the market is "stagnant", doesn't that reinforce the Clinic's assertion that the current hospital is not viable?


Then why are they building a new hospital? If the new hospital in Avon is needed because of increased demand then why are they transferring Lakewood's business to Avon?

If the new hospital was needed to meet demand the Clinic would be hiring people from all of the country to serve all of those new customers.

"Section 1 of the U.S. Sherman Act (1890) pronounced as illegal "every
contract, combination ... or conspiracy in restraint of trade or commerce among the
several States." Early interpretations by the Supreme Court made it clear that
explicit price-fixing agreements among sellers were per se illegal. But what if no
evidence of clear-cut agreement could be produced? Clarification appeared to
emerge when the three leading cigarette makers were found to have violated
Sherman Act Sec. 1 even without evidence of meetings, messages, or explicit
agreements.

As the Supreme Court declared:


No formal agreement is necessary to constitute an unlawful conspiracy.
Often crimes are a matter of inference deduced from the acts of the person
accused and done in pursuance of a criminal purpose.... The essential
combination or conspiracy in violation of the Sherman Act may be found in a
course of dealing or other circumstances as well as in an exchange of words.
Where the circumstances are such as to warrant a jury in finding that the
conspirators had a unity or purpose or a common design and understanding,
or a meeting of minds in an unlawful arrangement, the conclusion that a
conspiracy is established is justified."

Re: Lies Damn Lies and The Cleveland Clinic

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:47 am
by Scott Meeson
Bill Call wrote:Lakewood Hospital has been making money for years:

lakewood hospital.pdf




Bill,

Help me out! I don't see where the Cleveland Clinic has been making money based on operating income.

Scott Meeson

Re: Lies Damn Lies and The Cleveland Clinic

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:01 am
by Bill Call
Scott Meeson wrote:
Bill Call wrote:Lakewood Hospital has been making money for years:

lakewood hospital.pdf




Bill,

Help me out! I don't see where the Cleveland Clinic has been making money based on operating income.

Scott Meeson


The operating loss includes so called non collectable and various write offs for people without the means to pay. When the hospital computes those costs it does not use the actual costs of the product or service but the amount normally charged for that service.

For example:

The Hospital provides a CAT scan for a patient. The Hospital normally charges $1,750 for that service. Since it never gets paid it reports that it had uncollectable costs of $1,750 and reduces its operating income by $1,750. However, it's actual cost to perform the CAT scan in only $200.

I'm guessing at the actual cost of the CAT scan. I recently had one scheduled at Lakewood Hospital that was going to cost $1,700. I went to a private provider after I found out I could get the same test done for $350.

All of those people without insurance who went to Lakewood Hospital are still going to get uncompensated care somewhere else. If they drive to Avon has the Clinic save any money?

Lakewood Hospital also provided charitable care in amount of $8 million. If those patients go to another Clinic facility they still won't be able to pay. How much does the Clinic save if the $8 million in charitable care is provided at Fairview instead of Lakewood?

P.S. The miracle of modern accounting is that in a large organization the profitability of a specific division can be whatever management wants it to be.