Memorial Medical Center in Ludington, Mich., is the latest hospital with plans to become a member of Spectrum Health. Memorial Medical has signed a nonbinding letter of intent to join the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based not-for-profit system.
The decision comes following a vote last fall in which Memorial Medical Center's board of directors decided to investigate possible relationships with larger and more integrated healthcare systems such as Spectrum. Memorial Medical Center looked at 27 options before narrowing the field to several finalists.
“Given the rapidly changing healthcare industry, the board recognized it was our responsibility to explore all options to better meet the healthcare needs of our community,” board chair Al Deering said in a news release
The board's decision to pursue an agreement with Spectrum was a unanimous one supported by the entire Memorial Medical Center executive team.
“First and foremost, our patients will benefit,” Memorial Medical Center CEO Mark Vipperman said in the release. “They will benefit from expanded services, access to specialists and enhanced recruitment of additional physicians. Joining Spectrum Health strengthens this organization for the challenges ahead and will stabilize a healthcare presence in this part of Michigan for the future.”
Calling it a “win” for everyone, Vipperman also pointed to enhanced benefits for the hospital's medical staff. According to the release, those include greater professional opportunities and increased support from an integrated healthcare system that includes a medical center, regional community hospitals, a children's hospital, a multispecialty medical group, affiliated physicians and its own health plan—Priority Health.
Though both parties—Memorial Medical Center and Spectrum Health—have the option to withdraw before the agreement is finalized, both indicate that that is a very remote possibility, according to the release. Just last month, Spectrum Health acquired Mecosta County Medical Center in Big Rapids, Mich.
; that location will be a part of Spectrum Health beginning July 1.Follow Rachel Landen on Twitter: @MHrlanden