Like so many other Michigan residents, we’ve been anticipating more news on the recent rumors of the major hospital merger between Beaumont Health System and the Henry Ford Health System. According to the November issue of Crain’s Detroit Business, Beaumont is in talks with HFHS, although earlier this year rumors circulated of potential merger acquisitions with the DMC and University of Michigan Health System.
While this is a big change, it also means opportunity for efficiency, design standards, and cost reduction. As architects with extensive experience in the medical industry (we’d say this sector is one of our main niches), we understand the challenges that may lie ahead. Crain’s said it well, “as margins get tighter and garnering cash from operations gets tougher, experts said fewer health care providers will be able to resist the appeal of private equity or public money capital to fund much-needed equipment purchases or building renovations. This too could spur for-profit conversions and acquisitions.” The questions architects and developers need to ask themselves during this time of change for the health care industry need to be about function, quality of life, and the overall general direction in which patients and customers want their medical needs addressed. How else might this industry change affect us? How will it change the way we interact in our hospitals? What does this look like in ten years? How have other states dealt with health care reform and private acquisitions of the hospital systems we so depend on?
Let us know what you think. We’re thinking on these things – and you should too. We’ll keep you updated on the latest news and just remember : “Michigan is waking up to it now.” For the full Crain’s story, click here.