Two of the largest hospital systems in the state have signed a letter of intent to merge their operations, an effort that would create a new $6.4-billion health care organization.
Henry Ford Health System and Beaumont Health System announced last week that they are working on combining all their assets, liabilities and operations to form “one of the most comprehensive health systems in Michigan.”
“Our shared vision is to form a new organization that will develop improved approaches to patient care that will lead the nation in quality outcomes, service, access and reliability,” said Nancy M. Schlichting, chief executive officer of Henry Ford Health System in a press release. “It is a bold and exciting vision that will mean easier, more accessible and more integrated care for our patients. Coming together allows us to create a ‘Pure Michigan’ community-based system that will serve as an engine of innovation and economic development.”
“For nearly 60 years, Beaumont has been a trusted, essential care provider for patients in Oakland County and surrounding areas. We are a strong, profitable and growing organization today, but the world of health care delivery is changing, so we are taking proactive steps to ensure continued growth and success,” said Gene Michalski, CEO of Beaumont Health System. “Beaumont and Henry Ford are perfect partners because of our shared values, history of innovation and strong leadership in value, quality and safety.”
Under the proposed merger — which is expected to be finalized in the first half of 2013 — the two not-for-profit health systems would operate under unified executive leadership and a combined 10 hospitals and 200 patient care sites.
In a joint press release announcing the merger, the two health systems stated a spike in the number of partnerships between health systems is more prevalent now than any other time since the 1990s.
The release stated that through the merger, patients can expect the following:
• Improved access to care through an extensive system of medical centers and hospitals;
• Better coordination of patient care between the two systems;
• Improved physician access to medical records through the use of a “state-of-the-art” program that Beaumont has and that Henry Ford is expected to install by 2014;
• Better patient outcomes through the combined expertise of Beaumont and Henry Ford medical specialists; and
• An increased ability for the merged health system to attract top-notch medical talent.
A single board with equal representation from each health system would govern the organization, the name for which will be developed by both parties. The new board would include physician and nursing leaders from both organizations, plus community and business leaders and health experts. Integration of the two health systems would be overseen by a committee with representation from both Henry Ford and Beaumont.
The Henry Ford Health System has seven hospitals, including Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, while Beaumont has three.
Other hospital systems in southeast Michigan include the Detroit Medical Center (DMC), which includes DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital in Commerce Township, and the McLaren Group.