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Two of Michigan's largest hospital systems are merging

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Two of Michigan’s largest hospital systems are merging.

The planned merger of Beaumont and Spectrum Health (BHSH System) has cleared federal oversight. Starting Tuesday, the two will formally merge. The new hospital system will include 22 hospitals, 64,000 employees and hundreds of outpatient locations.

“We are thrilled to unite our two great organizations for Michigan, by Michigan, to improve the health of all of our communities,” said Tina Freese Decker, the merged company’s new president and CEO.

The merger has raised some concerns.

“We are ... concerned about the impact that a health system with this size will have in the market, particularly around prices that patients and employers will pay,” says Bret Jackson, of the Economic Alliance for Michigan.

Jackson calls Freese Decker an “outstanding leader.” He’s hopeful her leadership will help the new hospital system avoid “gaps in patient care and in poor billing practices” that he says occurred after Beaumont’s merger with Oakwood Health System in 2014.

On a Zoom conference with reporters, the new CEO for BHSH System insisted patients should not notice the change.

“Nothing changes about the way our patients receive their care,” said Freese Decker, “Patients will still have the same physician and same place that they go to for their care.”

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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