Obama, Romney agree: 'No debate' that Cleveland Clinic is great

Candidates did disagree on whether success can be replicated under ACA

Topics: Health Systems, Strategy, Health Policy, Market Trends, Care Team Building, Medical Home, Physician Issues

October 8, 2012

President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney agreed on few things at last week's presidential debate, but both men found common ground on one topic: the Cleveland Clinic is among the nation's top health systems.

According to the president—speaking during the debate's segment on health care—the Clinic is a model for other providers to achieve high-quality, low-cost care.

"At Cleveland Clinic, one of the best health care systems in the world, they actually provide great care cheaper than average," according to Obama. "And the reason they do is because they do some smart things," the president added, subsequently elaborating on the Clinic's multidisciplinary approach to care and contending that the Affordable Care Act will help spread those best practices.

Romney concurred that the Clinic is a example of health care success, naming it—along with Intermountain Health Care and Mayo Clinic—as one of the nation's health care systems that does things "superbly well." However, Romney suggested that the Clinic's achievements reflect free-market innovation and will not be replicated under the ACA.

Clinic uses opportunity to recognize staff, tout its model

The recognition wasn't expected—but very gratifying, according to the Clinic's Eileen Sheil, executive director corporate communications.

"It’s pretty neat when the president of the United States says something nice about you," Sheil told PR Daily. Following the debate, Sheil's team emailed a thank-you letter to the Clinic's 42,000 employees, PR Daily reports.

The Clinic also took out full-page ads in Sunday's New York Times and Monday's Wall Street Journal acknowledging the organization's recognition and linking to http://www.clevelandclinic.org/nodebate. The new microsite includes a welcome video from Clinic CEO Delos Cosgrove, footage of both candidates discussing health care last week, and offers an overview of the Clinic's model (Buss, Forbes, 10/8; Levco, PR Daily, 10/5).

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