Spectrum, Beaumont plan to merge into single health system

June 17, 2021 GMT

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health, the largest health care providers on each side of Michigan, said Thursday they plan to merge into a single system with 22 hospitals and 64,000 employees.

Spectrum’s insurance arm, Priority Health, with more than 1 million members, will be part of the new system, the companies said.

The new system will be led by Tina Freese Decker, the president and CEO of Grand Rapids-based Spectrum. The first board chair will be Julie Fream, the chair of Southfield-based Beaumont.

“Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health are leaders in our respective markets, and by bringing together our organizations to create a new system, we have the opportunity to deliver greater value in high-quality and affordable health care to our communities,” Decker said.

The new system will operate 305 outpatient locations and have more than 7,500 affiliated, independent and employed physicians. The new system will have dual headquarters in Grand Rapids and Southfield.

“Spectrum has always had very astute management,” Mark Kopson, who specializes in health care law, told Crain’s Detroit Business. “They are fully cognizant of the differences in the marketplace. They really know how to manage a health system.”

Beaumont and Spectrum hope to complete the merger this fall. It is subject to regulatory reviews.

Dr. Robert Welsh, a member of the Beaumont board, said the deal was “enthusiastically endorsed” by his fellow physicians.

Beaumont has been looking for a partner. A deal last year to merge with Advocate Aurora Health in Illinois was deeply criticized and fell apart.