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Mark Sanchez

Mark Sanchez

Senior writer, covers health care, finance and life sciences. Twitter: @masanche

GRAND HAVEN — Groundwater contamination around a site where the city’s municipal utility wants to develop a new natural gas-fired power plant will require clean up before the project can proceed.

GRAND RAPIDS — Michigan Capital Network plans to form a fourth venture capital fund.

Supporters are hopeful that a statewide bill to alter the process of doctors seeking prior authorization from insurers for patient care will become law this fall.

TRAVERSE CITY — High Street Insurance Partners Inc. now ranks as one of the top acquirers of insurance brokerages in the country.

With the emergence of artificial intelligence over the last decade, insurers’ painstaking work to identify trends and analyze data increasingly has become automated. 

Driven by higher medical claims trends, insurance rates for small business and individual health policies would increase significantly in 2022 compared to recent years under rate proposals before state regulators.

GRAND RAPIDS — Independent Bank Corp.’s earnings declined in the second quarter from the prior year, largely because of lower non-interest income and higher non-interest expenses.

SPARTA — ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc. reported higher second-quarter earnings as the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

GRAND RAPIDS — Spectrum Health will require COVID-19 vaccinations of employees, students, volunteers and contractors, although not until the vaccines are fully approved by federal regulators.

KALAMAZOO — Stryker Corp.’s sales grew 55 percent in the second quarter, driven primarily by a return of business lost last year with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

WYOMING — Metro Health-University of Michigan Health and Mercy Health have finalized a joint operating agreement to partner on heart care.

EAST GRAND RAPIDS —Mark Gurney retired as CEO of drug developer Tetra Therapeutics Inc. at the end of June, more than a year after selling the company to Japan-based pharmaceutical company Shionogi & Co. Ltd.

  Employers in West Michigan have recovered relatively well from the depths of the economic hit from the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting restrictions, according to economic development organization The Right Place Inc.

GRAND RAPIDS — Mercantile Bank Corp. more than doubled earnings for the second quarter as growth in commercial and residential mortgage lending remained strong.

The $22 billion merger with TCF Financial Corp. brought new leadership for Huntington Bancshares Inc. in West Michigan that’s focused on retaining talent and customers while executing a massive corporate pledge to small businesses and underserved markets.

KENTWOOD — A Grand Rapids-area health care fintech firm plans to use a recent capital raise to support growth into new markets around the country.

The Pennsylvania corporation that Mercy Health partnered with to develop a new Kent County psychiatric hospital paid $122 million a year ago to settle allegations of poor patient care and fraudulent billing to Medicaid and Medicare.

The seeds for what became West Michigan’s largest health care provider took root nearly three decades ago.

Construction projects within Michigan’s pharmaceutical and biotech industry totaled nearly $450 million between 2015 and 2020, according to an analysis that forecasts many more projects over the next half decade.

The expansion of West Michigan’s industrial economy moderated in June as some companies report ongoing supply chain issues, according to a monthly survey.

Trinity Health, the parent corporation of Mercy Health in West Michigan, will require employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

GRAND RAPIDS — Directors at the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce have promoted Guillermo Cisneros to president and CEO from executive director, citing his “outstanding performance.”

BALDWIN — A surge in deposits led a small community bank serving rural markets north of Grand Rapids to raise $15 million that will go to support growth and maintain regulated capital ratios.

If culture truly does trump strategy, then add one more complexity to the proposed merger between Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health.

BATTLE CREEK — Bronson Healthcare will partner with Franklin, Tenn.-based Acadia Healthcare Co. to develop a new 96-bed psychiatric hospital in Battle Creek.

Several West Michigan credit unions and community lenders received a combined $13.2 million in federal funding that they can use to assist underserved businesses and individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spectrum Health’s former chief financial officer was “stunned” when he learned about the health system’s proposed merger with Beaumont Health, and doubts the plan will achieve the intended goals.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan joined four other Blues plans across the U.S. to form a new venture that seeks to reduce the high cost of prescription drugs.

The proposed merger between Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health that would form the largest in-state health system in Michigan has drawn concern from a statewide business-labor coalition that worries about the resulting potential for higher prices.

As state lawmakers consider more controls over prior authorizations that health insurers require before covering certain medical care, Priority Health has launched a new system designed to make the process easier for physicians.