Corewell Health – Merging Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health
After Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health combined last year, their new system required only one final piece to establish itself fully: a name. As a result, Corewell Health was adopted.
Researchers from both systems discovered that hospital readmission rates could be reduced by working to overcome recovery barriers early, and this finding was published in December in the NEJM Catalyst journal.
Keeping People Well
Maintaining people’s well-being is paramount, so corewell health has committed itself to offering outstanding care wherever and whenever required.
Spectrum and Beaumont Health came together in February to form Corewell Health. At first, this organization was known as Beaumont Health Spectrum Health; however, over time, this has changed to Corewell Health, with 22 hospitals and three medical groups operating under Corewell’s banner. A transition plan will take two years.
Even with this transition, some hospitals will keep the Beaumont name alive; for instance, former Beaumont Hospital Royal Oak will change to Corewell Health William Beaumont University Hospital while still offering 43 residency and fellowship programs with 454 residents/fellows; its Magnet designation means nurses receive an environment which supports excellence and recognizes their outstanding work nationally.
Cornwell Health is Michigan’s most extensive healthcare system based on inpatient admissions and net patient revenue, employing more than 60,000 team members across 22 hospital facilities with nearly 155 outpatient sites nationwide and more than 5,000 affiliated physicians, advanced practice providers, and nurses. As a non-profit organization, it boasts almost $4.5 billion in net patient revenue annually and hosts over 60,000 team members working out of 22 hospital campuses.
The Corewell Health Foundation – Southeast Michigan operates as an independent 501(c)3 fundraising arm to raise philanthropic support for capital projects, innovative technologies, medical research projects, educational programs, and wellness efforts that directly benefit patients. Through generous donor contributions from its donors, this fundraising arm allows the health system to fulfill its mission of improving health while instilling humanity and inspiring hope for its patients.
Since the merger’s closing, Freese Decker has overseen the integration of business operations. Clinical and research teams from West and Southeast Michigan systems are now working collaboratively and sharing best practices; for instance, genetic medicine researchers from both systems recently participated in an event to share their expertise.
Cornwell Health has undergone a significant transformation recently, including Tracie Morris as its Chief People Officer and Carlos Cubia as its Chief Inclusion, Equity Diversity, and Sustainability Officer. Their logo features blues and greens reflecting the Beaumont Spectrum Priority Health colors used.
Investing in the Future
One year since merging Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health into one massive hospital system, they’ve chosen their new name: Corewell Health. According to Corewell’s statement on its commitments, improving health, instilling humanity, and inspiring hope are its core tenets, as well as being leaders in providing comprehensive healthcare services in Michigan and beyond.
Cornwell Health faces many obstacles in fulfilling its promise. It must unify its business operations and synchronize clinical and research teams across the state while dealing with rising staffing costs due to the pandemic outbreak. Furthermore, financial challenges from loss of government aid and decreasing utilization trends have further complicated efforts at integration.
Since forming in 1997, Spectrum Kelsey Hospital in Grand Rapids has sought to reduce expenses and find more effective care methods. They have opened new facilities while expanding existing ones – most recently opening an impressive $12 Million care center near the original Spectrum Kelsey Hospital location in June. Bridgman Hospital recently welcomed its inaugural outpatient facility and continues to expand in health care research; for example, recently published in NEJM Catalyst an article that demonstrated how to reduce readmission rates among high-risk patients. Corewell Health is participating in PCORI’s Health Systems Implementation Initiative, an academic research effort that unites large health systems like Corewell to identify and establish best practices for providing high-quality patient-centric care.
Health systems have begun expanding their workforce. Recently, they added two senior officers – a chief diversity officer and an inclusion equity and sustainability officer. Furthermore, new talent has been brought onto their boards of directors.
The company has been focused on increasing its reputation through public appearances and reaching out to local communities. Beginning this spring, they will launch “Our Place, Your Health,” an initiative that promotes their locations throughout Michigan while emphasizing their services; digital and social media components will also be part of this campaign.
Creating a Culture of Innovation
At a time when healthcare systems face unprecedented financial strain, finding ways to innovate and deliver value is of utmost importance. Organizations must create an atmosphere conducive to collaboration, creativity, and communication to do this successfully.
Cornwell Health has made this message one of the central points of its new Grand Rapids Center for Transformation and Innovation facility, which opened in 2023. This home for thousands of team members working for one of Michigan’s most significant health systems helps easily operate hospitals, clinics, and other facilities.
This facility includes offices, a conference center, and an event space to create an environment where employees can work across multiple settings to develop their digital transformation, clinical improvement, and business process improvement skills. Furthermore, employees are encouraged to think creatively and use their skills unconventionally to solve issues that would not otherwise be solved.
When recruiting candidates, for instance, an organization searches for individuals from diverse backgrounds who possess a deep knowledge of the industry and how the organization stands apart from competitors. Furthermore, it seeks people who are enthusiastic about their job and ready to join a team that challenges existing beliefs.
Cornwell Health’s new leadership is creating an environment of innovation and change throughout their organization, such as supporting a pilot project that connects at-risk mothers to services to reduce lead poisoning risks in their babies. This partnership between Corewell Health and Kent County Health Department allows this initiative to occur successfully.
Cornwell Health is also expanding its research and innovation activities to enhance patient care and outcomes. It works closely with other health system partners on medication adherence, chronic disease management, and post-discharge support research projects. The project will be led by University of Iowa graduate Christina (Tina) M. Freese Decker, who currently serves as President and CEO for Corewell Health.
Health systems also proactively manage their finances by developing more sustainable business models. One such step involves using technology to control costs better and increase efficiency during healthcare delivery, such as automating processes to save costs while giving team members access to data quickly on mobile devices, allowing for quicker decision-making processes.
Putting Patients First
Soon, this name change will occur across 22 hospitals and three medical groups that comprise Priority Health’s combined system. An updated palette featuring vibrant blues and greens was developed as part of this transition, reflecting each organization’s rich histories – according to an announcement issued by Priority Health.
Cornwell Health is committed to placing patients first by offering exceptional, compassionate care across its network of unified health facilities in Michigan. Their mission is to improve health, instill humanity, and inspire hope – their suitable hospital system has over 5,000 beds combined and over 150 outpatient sites with over 2,000 physicians on its roster.
Last year, the system reported a $21.5 million profit after cutting labor, supplies, and drug costs by improving efficiency and eliminating duplication of services. Furthermore, investments were made in community improvement as well as increases in employee benefits and retiree contribution rates.
But the health system was beset with numerous challenges this year, including high inflation, increasing pharmaceutical and labor costs, the COVID-19 pandemic, expired CARES Act funding, and reimbursement cuts that reduced profits. As such, in September, they announced they would lay off 400 people due to financial pressures.
The new health system asserts it will prioritize cost containment, efficiency gains, and quality results over expanding its network and access for patients to essential services.
One example is the construction of a new care center in Bridgman. It will be conveniently situated alongside Corewell Health South Primary Care Center on Red Arrow Highway, providing easier access to behavioral health services in Bridgman and surrounding communities.
Health System of Michigan is committed to eliminating inequities and disparities in healthcare access and outcomes for children and has joined with the University of Michigan Health C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital to establish a first-of-its-kind quality collaborative focused on Michigan’s most vulnerable pediatric populations.