Consolidation talks are heating up in Detroit, where two of the city's major systems, Henry Ford Health System and Detroit Medical Center, are discussing an affiliation.
The two systems own 14 hospitals and more than 100 ambulatory-care and physician clinics with combined revenues of more than $3.4 billion and 34,000 employees.
Henry Ford Chief Executive Officer Gail Warden said the systems have been identifying opportunities to meld services and reduce costs through joint program development.
Meanwhile, St. John Health System in Detroit and Providence Hospital and Medical Centers in Southfield, Mich., also are discussing an affiliation, including a joint ambulatory-care clinic. St. John recently consolidated hospitals on Detroit's east side, while Providence commands a strong presence in the western metropolitan area. Providence has been battling to obtain a certificate of need to build a hospital in the far west suburb of Novi, where it runs a 200,000 square-foot outpatient and surgical center.
Henry Ford and Detroit Medical Center have about 36% of inpatient admissions in Wayne and Oakland counties. Providence and St. John control about 14%.
Providence has been looking for a new partner since disbanding most of its joint operating agreement with Farmington Hills, Mich.-based Mercy Health Services. Under the agreement, forged in 1994, Providence Hospital, three Mercy hospitals in the Ann Arbor area, and ambulatory-care sites in the western suburbs were to be operated jointly by a new organization, Mission Health Corp.
A spokesman for Mercy said the parties decided it would be "very cumbersome" to merge the hospitals because they are about 40 miles apart.
Brian Connolly, who was president of Mission Health, returned to his previous post as CEO of Providence. Providence is owned by Daughters of Charity National Health System-East Central, based in Evansville, Ind.
-Crain News Service contributed to this report