Henry Ford-Beaumont Merger Called Off

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Merger talks between the two Detroit-area health systems ended over differences in corporate cultures and concerns from Beaumont’s clinical chiefs, reports Crain’s Detroit Business.

Beaumont Health System had been shopping for a merger partner for about two years and had engaged Chicago-based health care consulting and management firm Kaufman Hall to help them find a good partner and navigate the ins and outs of a merger. In a statement sent to Crain reporter Jay Greene, Beaumont CEO Gene Michalski said the health system would go back to seeking another merger partner. Potential candidates include University of Michigan Health System (which is upgrading to Epic electronic health records, the same system Beaumont uses) as well as Vanguard Health System, the Nashville investor-owned chain that also owns Detroit Medical Center.

Merger talks had been going on for about 6 months. If it had gone through, it would have created a $6.4 billion, 10-hospital integrated health system, and given Beaumont the size it believes it needs for success in a post-health care reform era.

“With health care reform coming, we saw hospitals consolidating into super-regional systems and knew we had to grow larger,” said Stephen Howard, chairman of the board of Beaumont Health System in an interview in February with Greene.