Understand how we got here — and how to move forward.


March 30, 2017

The 7 health systems among the 'World's Most Ethical Companies'

Daily Briefing

The Ethisphere Institute has released its 11th annual list of the "World's Most Ethical Companies," which includes seven U.S. health systems and four health insurers.

Overall, Ethisphere named 124 companies from 19 countries to its Most Ethical list. The Institute evaluated weighted candidates in five areas:

  • Ethics and compliance programs (35 percent);
  • Corporate citizenship and responsibility (20 percent);
  • Culture of ethics (20 percent);
  • Governance (15 percent); and
  • The company's leadership, innovation, and reputation (10 percent).

Ethisphere CEO, Timothy Erblich, said this year's honorees had responded to a "shift in societal expectations" and other trends that challenge companies to be more ethical. "They invest in their local communities around the world, embrace strategies of diversity and inclusion and focus on long term-ism as a sustainable business advantage," he said. "In short, these companies are transformative, not just out of need, but because they recognize that integrity is the key to their advancement."

Health care honorees

Seven U.S. health systems were recognized on Ethisphere's 2017 list:

  • Baptist Health South Florida;
  • Cleveland Clinic;
  • Covenant Health;
  • Hospital Corporation of America (HCA);
  • Northwell Health;
  • Sharp HealthCare; and
  • University Hospitals (UH).

In addition, Ethisphere recognized:

  • Four health insurers, Blue Shield of California, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Wisconsin Physicians Services Insurance, and Health Care Service Corporation;
  • Two medical supply companies, Henry Schein and Edwards Lifesciences, and
  • A pharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly.

Arthur Caplan: 'Disturbing' trends in Medscape's 2016 ethics survey


Alan Yuspeh, HCA's senior vice president and chief ethics and compliance officer, said, "It's an honor to be recognized as a World's Most Ethical Company for eight consecutive years." Yuspeh added, "HCA's comprehensive, values-based ethics, and compliance program promotes the highest standards of ethical conduct for our 240,000 employees, and supports a culture of treating our patients and communities with dignity and respect."

Thomas F. Zenty, CEO at UH, said, "The recognition is a tribute to the culture of integrity that defines University Hospitals and the care we provide to the people of Northeast Ohio. As this honor continues to grow in prominence, we hope more organizations worldwide recognize that high ethical standards are fundamental to success."

Separately, Donald Sinko, Cleveland Clinic's Chief Integrity Officer, said the award reflected the health system's commitment to "cultivating ethical business practices through transparency and a firm commitment to do what's right, whether it's for the organization, the community, our caregivers, or our patients."

According to a release, Cleveland Clinic has launched a number of relevant initiatives in recent years related to conflicts of interest, transparency, and sustainability. And Ethisphere CEO, Timothy Erblich, specifically congratulated the health system on it various initiatives. "Cleveland Clinic's focus on sustainability and its impact on the community is truly amazing and has landed it on the World's Most Ethical Companies list for the seventh time," he said (Rosin, Becker's Hospital Review, 3/13; Ethisphere release, 3/13; Ethisphere methodology, accessed 3/29; Ethisphere list; Cleveland Clinic release, 3/13).

Building the business case for community partnership

To be successful, population health programs must invest heavily in partnerships with local organizations and health departments.

Learn how to develop and leverage these partnerships to address the root causes of local health challenges.


Have a Question?


Ask our experts a question on any topic in health care by visiting our member portal, AskAdvisory.