Henry Ford Health, Ascension Michigan Announce Joint Venture

Oct. 19, 2023
Health systems say they will establish an integrated network focused on population health and community initiatives that support the region’s most vulnerable populations

Detroit-based Henry Ford Health and Ascension Michigan have signed an agreement to enter a joint venture that would merge eight Ascension southeast Michigan hospitals and Genesys healthcare facilities and assets with Henry Ford’s.

The combined organization would have approximately 50,000 employees at more than 550 sites of care across the region.

A story in the Detroit News cited the Michigan Health Market Review, an analysis done by Minneapolis healthcare expert Allan Baumgarten, which found that the combined Henry Ford Health and Ascension operations would give it almost 44 percent of the Detroit-area hospital market by revenue. That may draw the attention of the Federal Trade Commission, which has blocked some health system mergers within regional markets as anti-competitive.

The expanded organization, slated to be branded Henry Ford Health, will remain headquartered in Detroit. It would be led by President and CEO Bob Riney and governed by a board of directors representative of both organizations.

St. Louis-based Ascension operates more than 2,600 healthcare sites in 19 states and Washington, D.C., including 142 hospitals and 40 senior living facilities. The organizations said they are committed to working to maintain the Catholic identity of the Ascension Michigan facilities included in the partnership, which could have repercussions for reproductive health services and the LGBTQ community. Conversations on the future state of the Catholic identity of these facilities are ongoing, the health systems said.

In a statement, Adnan, Munkarah, M.D., president of the care delivery system and chief clinical officer at Henry Ford Health, said the expanded footprint created through this joint venture “will allow Henry Ford Health to provide outstanding comprehensive medical care, train more physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals, at more sites, and in more specialties, across the communities we serve.”

Ascension and Henry Ford said the merger will allow both organizations to advance the health of the communities they serve and improve outcomes, access and equity for all by establishing an integrated network focused on population health and community initiatives that support the region’s most vulnerable populations, as well as innovation, academic medicine, and advanced, complex care.

Ascension Michigan’s acute-care hospitals that are included in the partnership are: Ascension Genesys Hospital; Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital, Warren and Madison Heights Campuses; Ascension Providence Hospital, Novi and Southfield Campuses; Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital; Ascension River District Hospital; and Ascension St. John Hospital. All the acute-care hospitals’ related sites of care will also be included, as well as Ascension Brighton Center for Recovery. All of Henry Ford’s acute-care hospitals and other care facilities and assets, including Health Alliance Plan, will be included in the partnership.

Ascension Michigan’s southwest and northern hospitals — Ascension Borgess Hospital, Ascension Borgess Allegan Hospital; Ascension Borgess-Lee Hospital, Ascension Borgess-Pipp Hospital; Ascension St. Joseph Hospital, Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital and Ascension Standish Hospital — will remain part of Ascension’s national organization.

The organizations are in the process of submitting the agreement to state and federal regulatory agencies for review and hope the transaction will close by summer 2024.