Pine Rest Christian Mental Services was one of five organizations selected to participate in a federally-funded study on treating people with Alzheimer’s disease.

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Spectrum Health was among a dozen members to join a consortium of health systems across the nation that plan to produce their own generic medications to address a shortage.

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Physicians practicing in three primary care areas no longer have to maintain board certification to earn or renew a medical license in Michigan, or to get paid by health insurers.

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The $77 million investment in Ablative Solutions Inc. ranks as the largest known venture capital deal ever in Michigan, possibly helping draw more attention to the state’s life sciences research and development. 

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Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital would expand its presence in northern Michigan under a new joint operating agreement with Munson Healthcare in Traverse City.

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Allegan General Hospital and its parent health system would become part of the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. with the proposed acquisition by Ascension.

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Joan Budden looks at 2019 as a year to keep pushing for greater affordability and accessibility in health care. The president and CEO of Grand Rapids-based health plan Priority Health welcomes the greater attention and scrutiny that arose in 2018 for prescription drug costs that are becoming a major cost burden for health insurers and employers. She expects the trend to greater price transparency and consumerism to further take hold for the industry in 2019.

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Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital goes into 2019 with a new partner after signing a collaboration agreement in November with Spectrum Health to work together on research and coordinating patient care. The Grand Rapids rehabilitation hospital also formalized a research partnership with the University of Michigan Health System, and toward year’s end acquired the in-home skilled nursing services unit from Sunset Retirement Communities and Services. Looking ahead to 2019, President and CEO Kent Riddle sees a continuation of the high growth that Mary Free Bed has experienced in recent years since forming a statewide care network.

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Health care goes into 2019 facing many of the same issues and trends that have been driving industry change in recent years: the movement to value-based contracting, more use of telemedicine, growing concerns about cybersecurity, and greater price and cost transparency for consumers.

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Dr. Rakesh Pai joined Metro Health – University of Michigan Health System in October as medical group president and chief population health officer. He came to the health system with experience in two major drivers in health care today: value-based contracts between insurers and care providers and population health. Dr. Pai, a cardiologist, previously served as associate chief medical officer for two years at Cambia Health Solutions in Portland, Ore., where he ran Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon. Dr. Pai looks at 2019 as a year for Metro Health to further build on the two-year-old affiliation with U-M Health System.

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