Physicians at Michigan-based Beaumont Health overwhelmingly rejected corporate management and the proposed merger of the eight-hospital nonprofit system with a 28-hospital Chicago-based health system, according to results of an explosive medical staff survey that Crain's Detroit Business has obtained.
About 1,555 physicians answered the six-question survey that criticized Beaumont's management, physician and employee relations, culture, staffing and the proposed merger, essentially giving a vote of no-confidence to Beaumont's top leaders.
Here are the top two questions. The percent is based on individual responses.
I have confidence in corporate leadership:
- Disagree, strongly or somewhat, 76 percent (1,182 votes)
- Agree, strongly or somewhat, 13 percent (202)
- Neither agree nor disagree, 11 percent (166)
The proposed merger with Advocate Aurora Health is likely to enhance our capacity to provide compassionate, extraordinary care:
- Disagree, strongly or somewhat, 70 percent (1,080)
- Agree, strongly or somewhat, 9 percent (138)
- Neither agree nor disagree, 21 percent (332)
Last week, eight hospital medical staff presidents submitted the survey results to the 16-member Beaumont board. Most board members were on Zoom, but Chairman John Lewis, CEO John Fox and Chief Medical Officer David Wood, M.D., were in attendance for the presentation.
Several physicians, who asked for anonymity out of fear of retaliation, were briefed on the survey results and correspondence by at least two medical staff presidents. They told Crain's that Lewis promised physicians the proposed merger would be put "on the back burner" until the physician issues were resolved.
Initially, Crain's, which first reported the survey late last month, was told by multiple physician sources that the results would remain private while negotiations continue with the board. Physicians have asked for a number of changes related to management, the merger and resource allocation.
It is unclear if making public the physician survey signaled a change in either the physicians' strategy or that the board had responded in some way.
One physician source told Crain's the presidents' medical staff council did not authorize the release of the survey. However, another physician source said the council did release the document because members have become frustrated by lack of action.
Crain's was unsuccessful in seeking comment from several medical staff presidents over the past two weeks.
The eight elected hospital medical staff presidents are Muzammil Ahmed, M.D., Wayne; Amer Alame, M.D., Grosse Pointe; Arash Armin, D.O., Trenton; David Forst, M.D., Troy; Ghadi Ghorayeb, M.D., Taylor; David Peters, M.D., Dearborn; James Robbins, M.D., Royal Oak; and Rodrigo Tobar, D.O., Farmington Hills.
In a statement Tuesday evening, Beaumont said it values feedback from physicians.
"Our physicians provided valuable input and feedback to us through the survey. We take our physicians' responses seriously and we have already started addressing many of their concerns. We know our talented and skilled physicians, nurses and staff have helped to make Beaumont the region's leading health system and they are also key to our future. Our caregivers truly live our mission of providing compassionate, extraordinary care, every day. We recognize the importance of having an open dialogue. That's why we continue to meet with numerous groups of physicians, nurses and staff to listen to them, address their concerns and work together with them to determine the best path forward for Beaumont."
In a separate interview with Modern Healthcare, Advocate Aurora Health President and CEO Jim Skogsbergh said he remained hopeful that the merger will come together.
Here are the other four survey questions and responses:
Corporate leadership is strengthening our capacity to provide compassionate,extraordinary care:
- Disagree, strongly or somewhat, 72 percent (1,124)
- Agree, strongly or somewhat, 16 percent (246)
- Neither agree nor disagree, 12 percent (185)
Corporate leaders are fostering a culture of excellence:
- Disagree, strongly or somewhat, 71 percent (1,099)
- Agree, strongly or somewhat, 18 percent (275)
- Neither agree nor disagree, 11 percent (181)
Corporate leadership is helping to make Beaumont the workplace of choice:
- Disagree, strongly or somewhat, 75 percent (1,161)
- Agree, strongly or somewhat, 15 percent (239)
- Neither agree nor disagree, 10 percent (155)
Corporate leadership appropriately prioritizes and allocates resources to support quality and patient safety
- Disagree, strongly or somewhat, 67 percent (1,045)
- Agree, strongly or somewhat, 23 percent (361)
- Neither agree nor disagree, 10 percent (148)
"Beaumont medical staff survey results highly critical of management, proposed merger" originally appeared in Crain's Detroit Business.