Over the last four years, community hospitals throughout Michigan have been scooped up by large health-care systems that have promised significant capital improvements and pledged to continue serving indigent and low-income patients.
Whether patient costs will rise or quality will suffer are still question marks. But Michigan is heading in the same direction as many other states, where a relatively few providers own most of the health-care institutions, including nursing homes and physician practices.
A look at recent Michigan hospital acquisitions:
- Cheboygan Memorial Hospital, Cheboygan (now McLaren Northern Michigan, Cheboygan Campus). Cheboygan Memorial was acquired in 2012 by Flint-based McLaren Health Care , a nonprofit health system after it had declared bankruptcy and shut its doors. Converted to an outpatient facility and emergency center.
- Port Huron. 200 beds. Acquisition by McLaren Health Care is pending.
- Northern Michigan Regional Hospital, Petoskey (now McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital). 202 beds. Acquired in 2012 by McLaren for an undisclosed price.
- Zeeland Community Hospital (now Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital). 57 beds. Acquired in 2010 by Spectrum Health, a nonprofit health system.
- Ludington Memorial Medical Center (now known as Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital). 87 beds. Acquired in 2013 by Spectrum Health.
- Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center, Detroit. Acquired in 2013 by McLaren. Karmanos and McLaren are in a legal dispute with DMC over DMC’s challenge of the sale with Karmanos.
- Marquette General Hospital, Marquette. 315 beds. Acquired by LifePoint Hospitals, Brentwood, Tenn., for $483 million through its Duke LifePoint Healthcare joint venture with Duke University Health System, Durham, N.C.
- Bell Hospital, Ishpeming (Upper Peninsula). 25 beds. Acquired in 2013 by LifePoint for $37.5 million.
- Portage Health, Hancock (Upper Peninsula). 36 beds. Entered into a joint venture agreement in 2013 with LifePoint, which generated $40 million for a charitable foundation that is limited to supporting healthcare-related causes.
- Garden City Hospital, Garden City. 323 beds. Entered into a purchase agreement with Prime Healthcare Services of Ontario, Calif. The state Attorney General is reviewing the terms to decide whether to grant the new entity for-profit status.
- Metro Health, Wyoming. 208-bed hospital, along with outpatient centers and offices throughout west Michigan, community and student clinics. Is exploring an equity partnership with the Tennessee-based Community Health Systems, which owns or operates 135 hospitals nationwide. The state Attorney General is reviewing a change of tax status.
Affiliations and partnerships among Michigan hospitals have also proceeded at a brisk pace in recent years. A look:
- Charlevoix Area Hospital signed a regional affiliation agreement with Munson Healthcare in Traverse City in 2012 to provide cost-saving access to information systems and group purchasing.
- Mackinac Straits Health System in St. Ignace, which includes a critical access hospital and several clinics in northern Michigan, is in affiliation negotiations with MidMichigan, a four-hospital system based in Midland, Mich.
- University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) in Ann Arbor signed an affiliation agreement with MidMichigan in 2013, acquiring 1 percent ownership of the company in exchange for limited branding rights.
- Northstar Health System in Iron River, Mich., joined Superior Health Partners, an alliance of hospitals and providers in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, in March 2013.
- UMHS in 2012 affiliated with Trinity Health-Michigan, based in Livonia, to share resources and referrals. In 2013, UMHS expanded services at Chelsea Community Hospital to better serve western Washtenaw patients.
- UMHS and Allegiance Health of Jackson announced in December the signing of a letter of intent to affiliate, a proposal that leaders said could take six to 18 months to finalize.