Health Care

GRAND RAPIDS — After finalizing a property deal with Gill Industries Inc., Spectrum Health is moving forward with plans to build a new office building on the north end of downtown that will consolidate 1,200 employees at a single location and house a training and learning center.

Care providers behind a new regional cancer treatment network hope the partnership raises the quality of the cancer care they provide.

Grand Valley State University’s annual Health Check research report provides a wealth of granular data on trends that are affecting the West Michigan market. 

ALLEGAN — The transformation plan President and CEO Murray Kessler put in place last spring to return Perrigo Co. plc to revenue and earnings growth appears to have gained traction late in 2019, based on preliminary results for the fourth quarter.

GRAND RAPIDS — Grand Rapids Cardiology has merged with Advanced Cardiac & Vascular Centers for Amputation Prevention PLC, also Grand Rapids.

KENTWOOD — A Chicago private equity firm formed last year to invest in medical practices around the Midwest cuts it first deal with an investment in Grand Health Partners.

GRAND RAPIDS — Priority Health said Monday that it closed on the acquisition of Total Health Care Inc., a Detroit-based HMO.

GRAND RAPIDS — Ranir, the oral care division of Perrigo Co. plc, has purchased the assets of Steripod, a toothbrush accessory brand, from Culver City, Calif.-based Bonfit America Inc. 

HR consulting firm Mercer’s annual cost survey shows employers across Michigan paid an average of 4.7 percent more for employee health benefits in 2019. Employers expect 2020 costs to increase another 5.3 percent, provided they maintain the same benefit level, and 3.6 percent if they make changes to their health plans.

Marianne Udow-Phillips considers the last few years an “interesting time in health care because it’s always hard to predict exactly what’s going to happen” under President Donald Trump. The executive director of the Ann Arbor-based Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation, Udow-Phillips hopes that what happens in 2020 is a greater push to better controlling ever-rising costs in health care. 

Frank Sardone departs Bronson Healthcare at the end of the year, ending 31 years with the Kalamazoo health system, the last 23 as its president and CEO. He prepares to retire as Bronson Healthcare undertakes major capital projects that include a new $22 million hospital in South Haven and a $60 million outpatient cancer pavilion in downtown Kalamazoo.

GRAND RAPIDS — The Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) has agreed to pay $5.5 million to resolve allegations that it failed to disclose on federal grant applications that Chinese government grants that funded two of its researchers, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan wants to extend a new payment model across the state that both rewards and penalizes physicians and hospitals for beating or missing cost and quality targets.

CALEDONIA — Private equity-backed Aspen Surgical Inc. has acquired a Redmond, Wash.-based orthopedic products manufacturer. 

Even before Spectrum Health acquired Lakeland Health in St. Joseph, the Spectrum-owned Priority Health was making inroads in Southwest Michigan.

Creating the new role of chief medical officer positions Hope Network to better meet the major trends occurring in health care today as well as to craft new partnerships with care providers.

Forming a Medicare Advantage plan with Mercy Health gives Health Alliance Plan of Michigan a position in West Michigan that will lead to the company offering commercial health coverage in the market, MiBiz has learned.

Michigan’s certification-of-need regulations for health care projects could undergo significant changes under legislation proposed in Lansing.

Mercy Health and Metro Health-University of Michigan plan to integrate cancer care in West Michigan through a new network to treat patients at three locations in Grand Rapids and Muskegon.

Wanda Lipscomb considers a study that details burnout among medical professionals as a “call to action” to drive change and prevent the shortage of care providers from worsening.

If the results from a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan pilot program hold up, Dr. William Beecroft hopes to create a new model for health insurers to cover treatment for substance use disorder.

As Michigan universities land tens of millions of dollars in opioid research funding, students at all age levels are learning lessons about the epidemic.

Dr. Corey Waller has traveled the country to assess hospitals’ and health care systems’ effectiveness at treating chronic pain with opioids. Waller says his findings show a lack of understanding on the part of physicians and hospital administrators to tackle the opioid epidemic head-on.

Michigan State University’s new Doug Meijer Medical Innovation Building builds on a uniquely West Michigan model of public-private partnerships that’s been behind some of the largest projects in Grand Rapids.

GRAND RAPIDS — The merger between Priority Health and Detroit-based HMO Total Health Care Inc. heads to a close in the new year after receiving state regulatory approval.

NORTON SHORES — Mercy Health began construction on a $20 million primary care and outpatient medical center in Norton Shores.

The $19.5 million contribution from Doug Meijer and the Meijer Foundation could generate “incredible” benefits for cancer research and treatment and boost philanthropy for the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.

For the past three years, roughly 6,000 employees across the U.S. for Grand Rapids-based furniture manufacturer Steelcase Inc. have had free access to an online health portal to treat addiction. 

One of the barriers for health care providers responding to the opioid crisis in Michigan is a shortage of doctors trained in addiction medicine.

When Dr. Lynda Hulst went to work at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital 18 months ago, patients typically waited a month to get into its chronic pain management program.

Former Lt. Gov. Brian Calley was a vocal advocate for addressing the state’s blossoming opioid crisis during the administration of former Gov. Rick Snyder. Now as the president of the Small Business Association of Michigan, Calley has brought an increased focus on criminal justice reform issues, including policies affecting the opioid crisis.

new unit at the Michigan State Police attacks the opioid crisis by pursuing criminal investigations against doctors, advanced care practitioners and pharmacists suspected of illegally writing or dispensing controlled substances.

Two Michigan health information networks will combine operations by the end of the year.

CUTLERVILLE — The psychiatric urgent care center Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services opened in the spring treated nearly 3,000 people during its first six months, proving a need to improve access to behavioral health care.

A pair of Spectrum Health-owned hospitals maintained their streaks by earnings top grades in a semi-annual report card on patient safety.

ALLEGAN — Perrigo Co. plc grew sales 5.1 percent in the third quarter, exceeding expectations and showing that a strategic plan President and CEO Murray Kessler put in place in the spring to improve sales and earnings is gaining traction.

KALAMAZOO — Stryker Corp. plans to buy Wright Medical Group N.V., a Netherlands-based maker of orthopedic products for the ankle, wrist, foot and shoulder, for $4 billion in cash.

Believing the pendulum has swung too far and often results in delays for patient care, physicians want state legislators to curtail the ability of health insurers to require prior authorization to cover a medical test, procedure or medication.

GRAND RAPIDS — A $5 million gift from Peter and Joan Secchia completes Michigan State University’s $30 million capital campaign for the downtown Grand Rapids Research Center.

State lawmakers are looking to set aside a panel’s decision that would require hospitals to earn third-party accreditation if they want to provide an emerging, complex and potentially lethal cancer treatment.

Had state lawmakers failed to quickly enact legislation enabling licensed professional counselors in Michigan to continue working with clients with mental illness, the result at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services would have been “pretty horrible.”

few years back, employers seldom asked about what they could do to make their employees better shoppers for health care.

half-decade ago, it was a novelty to see your doctor through Skype or a video conference on your smartphone when you felt ill. 

Inside an elaborate late-19th century mansion in the Heritage Hill neighborhood overlooking downtown Grand Rapids, nearly a dozen men are undergoing substance use treatment. The building’s interior features extensive wood decor, a dining room for family-style dinners prepared by a chef, a basement gym and Tiffany stained glass. The rehab facility straddles commercial and residential areas but feels like a home.

If Michigan collects a share of what could become a multi-billion-dollar legal settlement with Purdue Pharma LP, Peter Jacobson believes the money needs to pay for prevention, treatment, and compensating people who became addicted to opioids.

A Q&A with Grand Rapids Red Project Executive Director Steve Alsum

For more than a decade, the Grand Rapids Red Project has been a leading organization in combating the opioid epidemic in Michigan. 

In 2017, Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration proposed and later signed into law a 10-bill package meant to be an “all-hands-on deck approach” to the opioid crisis, as former Lt. Gov. Brian Calley described it at the time. 

Doug Meijer, the former co-chairman of Meijer Inc., and the Meijer Foundation are giving $19.5 million to Michigan State University for a new facility on the College of Human Medicine’s research campus in downtown Grand Rapids, MiBiz has learned.