Henry Ford and Beaumont health systems to merge hospitals, LTC care sites

Updated: 5/21/13: Both parties have decided to cancel merger talks for now.

Two Michigan health systems have announced their intent to merge, creating one of the largest non-profit health systems in the state, comprising 10 hospitals and 200 care sites, including skilled nursing and long-term care services.

Beaumont Health System and Henry Ford Health System will join forces, while retaining their branded names for now, according to a joint corporate release. Henry Ford is recognized as one of the largest integrated delivery systems in the state, with more than 24,000 employees. Beaumont, a regional health system serving three counties, brings three hospitals, five nursing centers, hospice and home care services to the deal.

“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, CEO of Henry Ford Health System, in a press statement. “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 community-based system that will serve as an engine of innovation and economic development.”

The two health systems will combine their medical record systems, medical staffs and care facilities, as well as their expertises in orthopedics, heart and vascular medicine, neuroscience, cancer and other specialties.

“Both systems recognize that the way health care is provided today – where it is offered, how it is paid for, how it is measured – is changing dramatically,” noted Steve Howard, chairman of the Beaumont Health System board of directors, in the same release. “Reimbursement for care is declining, the care itself is shifting to more convenient outpatient settings and more emphasis is being placed on keeping people healthy, not just treating them when they are sick.”

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