Letter From MetroHealth System CEO Mark Moran
Cuyahoga County's need for high-quality affordable health care has never been greater, and The MetroHealth System is providing that care. With a 9.2% unemployment rate and 15.5% of our adult population living without health insurance, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has ranked us as one of the least healthy counties in Ohio. As a result, MetroHealth's mission has never been more vital to the health of our region.
In 2010, MetroHealth provided more than 200,000 health care visits for uninsured people — a 25% increase over 2008 and symbolic of the economic challenges our region faces. Our mission demands that we expand access to our services. Our team lives and works that mission and every day patients tell us about the commitment of our staff.
Uninsured patients come to MetroHealth from every city and area of Cuyahoga County. Many of them seek care at one of our satellite locations, including our suburban health centers. We have focused on improving access to meet the greater demands — not only for uninsured patients but also for those who pay high deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. MetroHealth charges less for services than other providers in Northeast Ohio, giving county residents better access to quality, affordable care.
While the county subsidizes MetroHealth to help provide care for uninsured patients, a common belief is that we are entirely supported by taxes. That is not the case. Only about 5% of our patient revenues come from local tax dollars. This is well below the national average. According to data from the National Association of Public Hospitals, the average local tax support for public hospitals is 13% of patient revenues.
In 2010, our county subsidy of $40 million covered only 22% of the cost of the care we provided for people who were uninsured or receiving Medicaid. The demand for care is not expected to decrease this year, but the county subsidy has been reduced to $36 million.
The reality in health care is that the burden of providing care for those in need must be offset by a higher-paying, insured population. That is one reason why MetroHealth leaders are expanding services, including offering the high-quality, cost-effective health plan — MetroHealth Select — to local employers. And that Select plan has led to new respect for and knowledge about what MetroHealth offers.
"Bob and I thought we just had the good fortune to meet great doctors who happen to practice at MetroHealth," wrote Julie, a MetroHealth Select plan member who lives in Parma Heights with her husband. "The longer we are with MetroHealth, the more we realize this may not be a coincidence but that MetroHealth's strength is definitely in your committed, compassionate personnel."
The MetroHealth System also benefits Cuyahoga County through:
MetroHealth is discovering new ways to improve the lives of everyone living in Cuyahoga County and beyond. In 2010, MetroHealth attracted $37.5 million in research funding. Our research initiatives have led to cutting-edge treatments for patients.
MetroHealth is one of the founding partners of Better Health Greater Cleveland, an independent, not-for-profit program established under a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative. The program is a leader in the use of technology to drive improvements in health care delivery and better outcomes for primary care patients.
MetroHealth has decreased hospitalization rates for uninsured patients by setting them up with primary care providers through the Partners In Care program, our patient-centered medical home.
MetroHealth is an academic health system committed to training medical professionals for the future. All active physician staff members hold faculty appointments at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. In 2010, MetroHealth trained more than 1,300 medical and nursing students, residents and fellows in 23 residency programs.
The quality of care provided through The MetroHealth System is consistent with other local leaders. Data show MetroHealth leads or is roughly equal to other local academic health centers in most quality criteria.
The MetroHealth System has been widely recognized for its outstanding medical staff and the care they provide. Recently MetroHealth:
- Was recognized by the American Heart Association for the treatment of coronary artery disease, stroke and heart failure.
- Was the only Ohio hospital chosen to participate in a $38.6 million federal project to help wounded soldiers and civilians recover from their injuries. This continues a special relationship with safety forces and armed services personnel.
We are proud of our commitment to you and our mission to serve all of you. We invite you to learn more about MetroHealth's services and our work in your communities by going to www.metrohealth.org/MHcares.
President and Chief Executive Officer