beaumont health system

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Policymakers debate how to spend surplus

The debate continues in Lansing over how the state should spend almost half a billion dollars in unexpected revenue this year. The Michigan League for Public Policy believes that because the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit is less than a third of what it was a couple years ago, legislators should restore the credit for the working poor.

"A spokesperson for state House Democrats says they support the idea of using some of the money to restore the Earned Income Tax Credit. However, Governor Rick Snyder says a similar tax credit from the federal government does enough to help working poor families in Michigan. He wants to use the extra cash to fix roads," Michigan Radio's Jake Neher reports.

Merger between Beaumont and Henry Ford sacked

The planned merger between Beaumont and Henry Ford health systems, two of southeast Michigan’s largest health care providers, has been scrapped. The leaders of each hospital signed a letter of intent to merge last fall, but negotiations didn’t work out so well. On Tuesday, Henry Ford CEO Nancy Schlichting sent a letter to employees, indicating they’ll end talks and let the agreement expire.

“It became apparent that two very different perspectives have emerged for the new organization between Henry Ford and Beaumont,” Schlichting wrote. Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek has more.

Rising car sales cut plant shutdowns

Summer vacation will be cut short for auto factory workers in Michigan this year, as carmakers try to keep up with heightened demand. Detroit automakers plan to reduce their annual shutdowns at dozens of North American plants that produce popular Ford and Chrysler models.

“This sends a strong signal that the industry is in a healthy place,” Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at market researcher LMC Automotive, told The Detroit News.

Adrian Clark / flickr

A planned mega-merger between two of Michigan’s largest health systems has been scuttled.

Beaumont and Henry Ford health systems are two of southeast Michigan’s three largest health care providers.

A week from now, the election will be over, we’ll have more or less digested what happened, and go back to contemplating the other daily dilemmas of life in our state.

There’s the issue of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, which wants to move from being a tightly regulated charity to being a normal non-profit, with much more freedom to do what it wants, and less responsibility to provide coverage for the uninsured.

Adrian Clark / Flickr

Beaumont and Henry Ford Health systems announced plans today to merge into one non-profit health care system.

It’s a blockbuster move that pairs two of southeast Michigan’s three largest health systems.

Beaumont Health System

Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Michigan has reached a five-year deal with Beaumont Health System that will increase reimbursements to the hospital. It also includes a new performance-based payment model.

The health system had threatened to stop accepting patients covered by the Blues’ HMO, Blue Care Network,  starting next Thursday. 

"It was very unfortunate but the good news is that we’ve rescinded that now, and BCN members will not have gone one day without their services being covered at Beaumont and we think that’s a very positive outcome,"  said Beaumont CFO Nick Vitale.

Officials on both sides say the deal will better coordinate care by establishing programs that avoid unnecessary tests "to make sure that the primary care physicians are speaking to the specialists who are speaking to the hospitals to make sure that if there’s a test performed that it’s only performed once," said BCBSM vice president Sue Barkell.

The five-year contract will boost reimbursements to the hospital. But the two sides would not disclose what the rate increase will be.