by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | June 24, 2021
Beaumont Health has agreed to merge with Spectrum Health.
The two are expected to combine into a new health system that will temporarily be called the BHSH System. The aim is to open up access for the people of Michigan to more affordable and equitable healthcare and coverage. Spectrum’s Michigan-based health plan, Priority Health, will also be part of the new system.
“Together, we can provide a more personalized experience that prioritizes individuals’ health while also attracting and retaining great talent to our vibrant communities,” said Spectrum Health president and CEO Tina Freese Decker, in a statement.
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The two are aiming to create a system that will improve equitable care and service for all patients and health plan members; simplify the experience for patients and members by investing in digital technologies and services such as virtual and in-home care; and develop and invest in solutions that improve healthcare and coverage for all Michiganders. They also hope to make high-quality care and coverage more affordable across the state and create a culture that attracts and retains top healthcare professionals to live and work in Michigan.
The new system will be based in Grand Rapids and Southfield and operate 22 hospitals and 305 outpatient locations. It will consist of more than 64,000 team members, including more than 7,500 affiliated, independent and employed physicians, more than 3,000 affiliated, independent and employed Advanced Practice Providers, and more than 15,000 nurses.
Freese Decker will lead the new system, with Julie Fream, the board chair for Beaumont Health, acting as first board chair. John Fox, president and CEO of Beaumont Health, will help in the transition to the new health system and will leave the organization once it is completed.
Running it will be a systemwide board of directors, with seven seats appointed by Beaumont Health and seven appointed by Spectrum Health. The president and CEO of the new system will also serve on it, as will a new board member that will be appointed following the creation of the new system. At least three physicians will be on the board and a thorough process will be used to select the BHSH Beaumont Health president.
“As healthcare continues to evolve, there are a number of factors that proactive health systems must consider as they plan for the future,” said Beaumont Health board chair Julie Fream. “Beaumont Health has found a great Michigan partner in Spectrum Health, and together, we are uniquely positioned for success.”
No immediate changes to the legacy brands will be made, and they will retain their names in their local markets pending adoption of the overall branding plan by the system board.
The merger is expected to be completed by this fall.