The blockbuster merger of Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health in February of 2022 created a monthslong process, including a couple of name changes, to merge the two large health systems.
The rebranded Corewell Health is now the largest in-state health system based in Michigan with 22 hospitals, more than 5,000 licensed beds, 64,000 employees and revenues exceeding $13 billion. Meanwhile, the formerly named Spectrum Health launched multiple expansion projects in the Grand Rapids area last year.
The massive deal and ensuing integration was the subject of several of MiBiz’s most-read health care stories in 2022. As well, readers tuned in to medical device advancements, merger discussions among separate West Michigan health systems, and new prior authorization reforms signed into law by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
— Andy Balaskovitz, managing editor
A quarterly report in August provided the first look at the finances of the merged health systems, revealing that major revenue declines in southeast Michigan were made up for by gains in West Michigan.
Prior to its formal merger with Beaumont Health, Spectrum Health in early 2022 announced plans to spend $151 million to develop three new outpatient medical centers in downtown and rural markets north of Grand Rapids.
Part of the $151 million in facility expansions included the start of construction in July on a 12-story outpatient facility along Medical Mile in Grand Rapids.
Amid state and federal legislative efforts to bring down insulin prices, nonprofit generic drug company CivicaRx, which has the financial backing of several Michigan health care organizations, announced plans to begin producing low-cost, generic insulin by 2024.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in April signed legislation that reforms how physicians and hospitals seek prior authorization from health insurers for patient care, shortening the time for insurers to respond to a prior authorization request from physicians along with other changes.
Trinity Health Michigan and the Grand Haven-based NOCHS announced a proposed merger agreement in March.
When announcing plans to close the merger in early 2022, health system President and CEO Tina Freese Decker told MiBiz: “We’re focused on transforming health and really striving to achieve greater health equity and trying to create greater value, trying to improve the experience and the culture.”
In July, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital and Corewell Health’s DeVos Children’s Hospital announced plans to build the state’s first children’s rehabilitation hospital in Grand Rapids under a joint operating agreement. The facility will be located on Wealthy Street across from Mary Free Bed’s main campus and contain two floors and 67,000 square feet to provide specialized care for children.
After operating for months as BHSH System following the merger of Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health, company officials in October announced the permanent name of Corewell health.
The $1 million raised from investors earlier this year brought Grand Rapids-based The Patient Co. closer to the marketplace for a device designed to assist nurses and other care providers in safely moving patients.