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Advocate Aurora and Beaumont call off partnership

In making the announcement, neither system mentioned the controversy made public in a letter to the Michigan attorney general.

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

Advocate Aurora and Beaumont have called off their partnership. (Photo courtesy Advocate Aurora Health.)Advocate Aurora and Beaumont have called off their partnership. (Photo courtesy Advocate Aurora Health.)

Five months after announcing the signing of a nonbinding letter of intent and weeks after a former Beaumont trustee called for the firing of top executives, Advocate Aurora Health and Beaumont eHealth have mutually agreed to end partnership discussions.

WHY THIS MATTERS

In the statement released today, neither health system mentioned the controversy surrounding the merger that went public when former Beaumont Health trustee Mark Shaevsky called for the firing of the CEO, COO and CMO and asked the Michigan attorney general to prevent the planned merger.

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Shaevsky's concerns, aired in a September 4 letter to Michigan AG Dana Nessel, were for Beaumont losing its independence, though the deal was characterized as a partnership, and that the executives were putting Beaumont's 4% margin ahead of any other goal, to the point that top physicians were being let go or were leaving on their own.  

The current board of trustees was split in sharing his concerns, Shaevsky said.

No one from Beaumont returned a request for comment made at the time.

THE LARGER TREND

While partnership discussions began in late 2019, they were put on hold earlier this year as COVID-19 accelerated across the Midwest.

The partnership with Beaumont Health, which is among Michigan's largest systems, would have continued an integration that began in 2018 when Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care merged to create Advocate Aurora Health, the 10th largest integrated system in the country, with 27 hospitals.

ON THE RECORD

"We continue to have a very high regard for Advocate Aurora Health," said John Fox, president and CEO of Beaumont Health. "But at this time, we want to focus on our local market priorities and the physicians, nurses and staff who provide compassionate, extraordinary care every day."

"We have great respect for Beaumont Health, and we continue to believe scale will play a critical role in advancing quality, accelerating transformation and reducing cost in the healthcare world of tomorrow." said Jim Skogsbergh, president and CEO, Advocate Aurora Health.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the writer: susan.morse@himssmedia.com