Caro Community Hospital in Michigan's Thumb region has joined Grand Blanc-based McLaren Health Care Corp. to become the not-for-profit system's 13th hospital.
Earlier this month, Huron Medical Center in Bad Axe agreed to negotiate a letter of intent to join McLaren; that deal would make Huron McLaren's 14th hospital. McLaren is one of the state's largest integrated health systems with $5.5 billion in annual revenue from its hospitals, health plan and employed physician group.
Caro Community is a 24-bed critical-access hospital in Tuscola County that has served the surrounding community since 1928. After six months of negotiations, the hospital is now a wholly owned subsidiary of McLaren.
"The CCH board of trustees have not taken this big step lightly," Marc Augsburger, Caro's CEO, said in a statement. "Through significant due diligence, much discussion, and contemplation, we have come to the decision that a formal transaction with McLaren Health Care is in the best interest of the residents of Caro and all of the surrounding communities that we serve."
Augsburger said Caro Community has experienced growth over the past five years, but because health care is changing, the board decided to join McLaren. "We are even better poised to answer the high quality, lower cost challenges that lie ahead."
The boards of Caro Community and McLaren have agreed as part of the deal to unspecified facility and equipment improvements and employee and physician recruitment.
"Caro Community Hospital has been providing quality health care services to a very important market in Michigan for 90 years," Phil Incarnati, McLaren's CEO, said in a statement.
"Our commitment will be to work closely with CCH's leadership and medical staff to identify physician and hospital services that add value and meet the health and wellness needs of the community. Caro Community Hospital will play an important role in the advancement of our strategic vision for the Thumb area of Michigan. We are honored by the confidence and trust placed in McLaren by Caro's board of trustees."
In a statement, the Caro hospital said it will continue to be governed by a local board and all funds raised by the foundation and auxiliary will remain in the community. Certain reserved powers will be retained by McLaren as part of its system oversight.
"McLaren signs deal to add Caro Community Hospital" originally appeared in Crain's Detroit Business.