Editorial: What is the financial picture of Mayo Clinic?

Published 10:19 pm Wednesday, June 28, 2017

All eyes will be on Mayo Clinic Health System officials tonight at the community forum slated to begin at 7 p.m. in the Albert Lea High School auditorium.

We are pleased that hospital leaders agreed to attend the forum, organized by Albert Lea officials, and we hope many answers related to this decision will be given.

It has been 2 1/2 weeks since hospital leaders announced the decision to move most inpatient services from the Albert Lea campus to Austin. The announcement came as a blow to many, particularly long-term residents, as Albert Lea’s hospital for many years has been part of the city’s identity.

Others have expressed concerns the changes may have on drawing people to the community and economic development. The hospital is one of the city’s largest employers, and there are concerns about its employees. The community has spoken out about the changes on social media and through letters to the editor and other means.

We, at the Tribune, have been particularly concerned with some of the financial aspects of this decision.

• What have the profits or losses of the hospital system been over the last five years? If the organization was operating at a loss, how long has this been happening?

• Which hospital — Albert Lea or Austin — has been performing better financially? How have Albert Lea’s figures compared to those in Austin?

• What is the amount of money Mayo is expected to save as a result of the changes, broken down to a line-item basis (staffing, operations, etc.)?

• How many years is it expected to take to break even from the investments that are expected to be made?

And lastly:

Would the hospital system be open to sharing the facility with another health system to keep the in-patient hospital services in Albert Lea?

We, too, are curious about many of the other questions being asked in the community. We hope either through this forum or in the next few days the answers to these questions come to light.