1A Goals are surpassed, ‘marathon’ continues

By Jeff Hansel

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

Mayo Clinic in Rochester has informed employees that financial goals have been surpassed at mid-year, but the clinic’s margin remains tight.

"Our June financial results exceeded some very aggressive financial goals," Dr. Glenn Forbes, Mayo’s Rochester CEO and a radiologist, told employees in a newsletter. "We are slightly ahead of our financial plan for the practice for the year, although our overall margin for all activities to support our mission remains small."

Mayo was slowed by the recession and broke even in 2008.


Forbes now says Mayo wants to "converge" its "governance, management and committee structure to help streamline our roles and processes to effectively respond to the changing needs of our organization and practice."

Mayo would have lost money during 2008, except it sold St. Luke’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla., when it opened its new hospital there, according to the clinic’s annual report released this spring. Financial analyst Jefferies & Co. told the Post-Bulletin at that time that a break-even point in the current economy showed that Mayo had performed well despite financial hurdles.

Still, Mayo administrators said they would need to save or add $142 million in revenue in 2009 to stabilize the organization’s financial base.

Mayo national CEO Dr. Denis Cortese told employees in March that Mayo ended $133 million below plan in 2008. Expenses in 2008, he said, grew by 7.6 percent, while revenue grew only 4.5 percent.

Since then, Mayo administrators have asked employees to suggest cost-saving measures. They have highlighted simple ways to save money, such as using the correct waste bags. And they have taken aggressive steps to control costs, such as rescinding job offers to an undisclosed number of nurses who had expected to start their jobs in June.

Forbes wrote to the 30,000-plus employees who work at Mayo in Rochester that they have performed well as the clinic tries to control spending and increase revenue.

But he notes there’s a lot of work to do. He called Mayo’s effort a marathon.

"A marathon isn’t a sprint," he wrote. "It requires patience, determination and focus. While it’s exciting to reach milestones along the way, the marathoner knows each milestone is simply one success in a longer race, and that it’s essential to stay focused on the goal."


For more information, go to

Mayo Clinic

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