Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine is a groundbreaking collaborative effort between Cleveland Clinic and the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM). Center for Functional Medicine, located at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, delivers Functional Medicine care in a multidisciplinary, mostly insurance-based model. Cleveland Clinic was the first major academic medical center in the country to so prominently incorporate Functional Medicine, although other centers have initiated pilot projects or adjunct programs.
Center for Functional Medicine and IFM work in collaboration to advance the practice, education, and evidence behind Functional Medicine.
In clinical practice, Center for Functional Medicine:
- Uses an interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, physician’s assistants, nutritionists, and health coaches.
- Is building a center of excellence to lead the way for others to sustainably deliver Functional Medicine.
Center for Functional Medicine educates medical students, residents, and physicians about Functional Medicine:
- One-day Continuing Medical Education (CME) course to introduce physicians to Functional Medicine.
- Two-week elective course in Functional Medicine for medical students.
- Four-week elective as part of the residency rotation.
- Customized courses for dietitians.
- Grand Rounds presentations on innovative, evidence-based healthcare approaches to treat complex, chronic disease.
Researchers are building the evidence base at Center for Functional Medicine by:
- Analyzing information about the costs of care and insurance reimbursement for the Functional Medicine model or the standard care model.
- Studying comparative effectiveness of the two models.
- Conducting two clinical trials that investigate Functional Medicine treatments for asthma and type 2 diabetes.
Two IFM leaders are playing pivotal roles in IFM’s collaboration with Center for Functional Medicine: Patrick Hanaway, MD, director of research at Center for Functional Medicine, while Mark Hyman, MD, is Center for Functional Medicine director and IFM’s board president of clinical affairs. They are both regularly seeing patients at Center for Functional Medicine.
This exciting collaboration advances IFM’s mission by putting the Functional Medicine model into practice at a leading institution where it is both highly visible and subject to new levels of scrutiny. This showcases the Functional Medicine clinical model and provides an unprecedented opportunity to study and evaluate the impact of Functional Medicine in practice. The outcomes from this research can validate the clinical model as well as inform future development of IFM’s tools, treatments, and methods for clinical care. This pioneering clinic, at a major academic and medical center, is leading the way for others like it to adopt this healthcare model and help make Functional Medicine the standard of care.
Recently, Center for Functional Medicine collected and analyzed outcomes data of more than 4,200 patients with chronic diseases to determine the efficacy of the Functional Medicine model. They determined Functional Medicine patients are incurring lower healthcare costs and better clinical outcomes than patients in conventional care at Cleveland Clinic.