Detroit's burgeoning technology industry is bringing new jobs to the city and bolstering providers such as Henry Ford Health System.
Unemployment in the city has dropped to the mid-single digits after spiking above 20% just two years ago. The city's job creation initiatives are having an effect on the local economy. “And these are good-paying jobs; these are professional jobs,” Robert Riney, the system's chief operating officer, told investors last week at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. “The city has rebuilt in a unique way.”
Henry Ford, too, is counting on new technological and digital health innovations to ensure its future. It is investing in areas such as telehealth and has “a lot of excitement as it relates to retail and consumerism,” Riney said.
The system's business is evenly split between its insurance and delivery arms. It expects to transition more care to the outpatient setting and has built a strong ambulatory-care network, said Wright Lassiter, the system's president.
Executives painted a financial picture of the system that showed it has recovered from an operating loss that they attributed to the costly implementation of an electronic health-record platform from Epic Systems Corp.
In its most recent earnings report, Henry Ford reported an operating surplus of $101.9 million on $3.8 billion in revenue and an operating margin of 2.7% for the nine-month period ended Sept. 30. That compares to an operating surplus of $51.3 million on $3.5 billion during the same period the previous year.
The system expects to close two acquisitions in the next 30 to 60 days, which will add just under
$1 billion in revenue. Henry Ford's insurance business, Health Alliance Plan, forged a deal in October to acquire HealthPlus of Michigan, another insurer. And in November, the system said it would acquire Jackson, Mich.-based Allegiance Health System.