Michigan Medicine announces plan to acquire Sparrow Health in Lansing

Ann Arbor-based Michigan Medicine and Lansing-based Sparrow Health jointly announced a proposed merger agreement Dec. 8 that would take effect in the first half of 2023.

The Sparrow Health board of directors approved the deal Nov. 28, and the University of Michigan Board of Regents, the governing body responsible for the university’s health care system, approved it Dec. 8.

In the corporate-speak that serves to obscure the financial interests driving the deal, a press statement said: “Sparrow Health System will join University of Michigan Health under a proposed agreement that will expand services to mid-Michigan residents, providing maximum access. Improve the level of care, facilities and technology and start a new chapter in Sparrow’s history.”

The press release does not clearly explain, however, that Michigan Medicine is taking over Sparrow Health, a hospital system that has served Lansing and the mid-Michigan region for the past 127 years. Michigan Medicine will spend $800 million to acquire 115 care sites currently operated by Sparrow Health, including six hospitals located between Ionia to the northwest, Charlotte to the southwest and Carson City to the north and Lansing, the Michigan capital. .

Michigan Medicine Campus in Ann Arbor [Photo: uofmhealth.org]

In a report Crain’s Detroit businessMarshall Runge, CEO of Michigan Medicine and dean of the UM Medical School, says that “two-thirds of the investment will be in facility improvements, and the last third will go to ‘core’ capital investments, such as new buildings and major technology investments.”

Michigan Medicine CEO Runge is currently the highest paid employee at the University of Michigan, with an annual salary of $1.57 million.

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The merger announcement comes nearly 10 weeks after a month-long contract fight by 6,000 nurses at Michigan Medicine by the Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) and its Ann Arbor-affiliate, the University of Michigan Professional Nurses Association (UMPNC).

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