DETROIT – It was a deal that was kept tightly under wraps. If approved, it would create the largest hospital system in the state of Michigan.
“It’s really about the synergies of our organizations coming together,” said Beaumont Health board chair Julie Fream. “This is for Michigan and by Michigan. We have equal governance and a shared opportunity to work together on our complimentary strengths.”
It’s the third big merger attempt for Beaumont Health under CEO John Fox and the second within a year. Beaumont Health’s last merger attempt was with Wisconsin-based Advocate Aurora. The partnership was called off in October 2020 after staff, donors and lawmakers said it could negatively impact patient care.
Fox will reportedly leave the organization following the once the transition is over.
Rep. Andy Levin, who criticized the potential Advocate Aurora merger, said he was cautiously optimistic regarding the new potential union. He released the following statement Thursday:
There are concerns about what it could mean for the cost and quality of care.
“I don’t see a lot of potential benefits for consumers in the state,” said Dr. Richard Hirth, professor of hospital policy at University of Michigan. “It may not be quite as much of a threat to prices as if they did have that overlapping footprint, but I think there’s still a possibility that prices could go up.”
When it comes to just how much the merger is worth, it’s difficult to pin down. Spectrum Health CEO Tina Freese Decker dodged multiple questions regarding the price. Both companies bring in billions in revenue and Spectrum operates Priority Health, the third largest insurance company of its kind in the United States.
The agreement between the two health systems needs to be approved by the state and likely federal regulators.