Health Care

GRAND RAPIDS — As more employers shift to high-deductible health plans, hospitals and doctors have wrestled with collecting the portion of the bill from patients who have not yet met their deductibles. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Spectrum Health Ventures LLC was among the lead investors that invested $10.3 million in Vynca Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of advanced care planning.

GRAND RAPIDS — The planned acquisition of a Detroit-area third-party benefits administrator will give Priority Health a greater ability to pursue business with employers that self-fund their health benefits.

A new medical device company in Kalamazoo plans to begin building a business around a product acquired from Stryker Corp. to treat a painful and potentially life-threatening condition.

GRAND RAPIDS — Since September 2017, Metro Health – University of Michigan has signed up 20 employers that contract directly with the health system to provide medical care for some 4,000 employees and their dependents.

KALAMAZOO — Frank Sardone, the long-time president and CEO of Bronson Healthcare, plans to retire at the end of 2019.

ALLEGAN — The sweeping transformation plan from Perrigo Co. plc President and CEO Murray Kessler aims to return the company to higher sales and earnings growth within a few years. Murray envisions a Perrigo that’s focused on “self-care,” producing products for consumers not only to treat themselves with store-brand, over-the-counter medications but also to maintain their health and prevent illness.

GRAND RAPIDS — Executives at Ranir Global Holdings LLC put a plan in place four years ago to grow the company and prepare for investors’ eventual exit. By 2018, as the world’s largest producer of private-label store-brand oral care products grew sales and earnings at double-digit rates, management started exploring various options, including the potential for an IPO.

GRAND RAPIDS — Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids and five Spectrum Health-owned hospitals earned top grades in a semi-annual report on patient safety. Spectrum Health’s Big Rapids, Ludington, Pennock Hospital in Hastings, United Hospital in Greenville and Zeeland Community Hospital joined Saint Mary’s in earning an “A” grade in the spring report card issued by The Leapfrog Group, a Washington, D.C.-based advocate for health care quality and patient safety.

GRAND RAPIDS — Two years ago, the venture capital arm that health system Spectrum Health formed to back innovative health care startups had to go looking for deals because nobody in the field knew it existed. Today, Spectrum Health Ventures LLC faces a much different situation. Investment prospects now often come from referrals by other large health systems across the U.S. that also operate venture capital arms and want co-investors for deals.

KALAMAZOO — Peter Bergmann began his tenure as president at Ascension Borgess three months ago with a host of issues on his plate to manage. Among them is finalizing the proposed acquisition of 25-bed Allegan General Hospital and integrating it into the Kalamazoo-based regional health system, which includes hospitals in Kalamazoo, Dowagiac and Plainwell, as well as outpatient centers and physician offices.

Citing the loss of a key contract, Concerto Health Inc. plans to close three locations in Michigan, including an office in Kalamazoo.

Since deciding last fall to open a psychiatric urgent care center, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services President and CEO Mark Eastburg has heard from interested colleagues at care providers in the region asking about the possibility of replicating the model elsewhere.

Dr. Hyung Tai Kim becomes the new president next week at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids, a position he viewed as offering an “extraordinary opportunity to join an organization that believes in the things that I believe in.”

What began as a way for a software developer to keep families and friends updated on his daughter’s condition became a business opportunity for Open System Technologies Inc. in the health care industry. After a year-long pilot with Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids-based OST has begun to pitch the CareCircle service to health systems across the U.S., starting with the more than 100 hospitals that are already clients.

BELMONT — Trilogy Health Services LLC is planning to construct a new senior living and rehabilitation center in Plainfield Charter Township. The Belmont facility would be at 6081 West River Drive NE, on the northwest corner of West River and Jupiter Avenue, which is currently a vacant lot, said Matt Cole, senior civil engineer for Paradigm Design Inc.

Healthcare Bluebook contracts with 5,000 employers with more than 3 million employees who mostly self-fund their health coverage. Many health plans, such as Grand Rapids-based Priority Health, offer web-based platforms for members to look up prices and get an estimate on what they might pay based on their insurance coverage.

Four medical schools in Michigan partnered to direct new physicians into areas of the state that are underserved or have a shortage of physicians. Backed by a $5 million budget allocation that the four institutions matched with $1.25 million apiece, the medical schools each placed two additional medical residents this year to train and work in medically underserved areas of Michigan.

An associate of the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University will become the new president of Mercy Health Saint Mary’s next month.

KALAMAZOO — The $60 million downtown Kalamazoo cancer pavilion is one of a number of capital projects for Bronson Healthcare that are driven partly by the shift toward delivering care at outpatient settings. Along with the cancer facility across from the Medical Office Pavilion on the South Campus in downtown, Bronson plans to develop a new $22 million hospital in South Haven and invest in a $3.8 million project to renovate inpatient rooms at LakeView Hospital in Paw Paw.

Hundreds of small businesses in Michigan that use an association health plan for health benefits shouldn't worry yet about a federal judge’s ruling that struck down a 2017 executive order by President Trump. Rob Fowler, president of TranscendAHP, expects that the U.S. Department of Labor will appeal Thursday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge John Bates of the District of Columbia.

Spectrum Health-owned hospitals in Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids, Zeeland and St. Joseph are among seven in Michigan ranked in an annual list of the 100 Top Hospitals in the U.S.

GRAND RAPIDS — A need to generate administrative efficiencies and better compete for talent contributed to driving the affiliation between senior living providers Porter Hills Presbyterian Village Inc. in Grand Rapids and Chelsea-based United Methodist Retirement Communities Inc. 

Bronson Healthcare plans to develop a $60 million outpatient cancer pavilion at its downtown campus in Kalamazoo.

Priority Health earned more than $137 million across all business segments in 2018, led by strong growth in the bottom line at its core HMO business.

Michigan has received $10 million from New York City-based Bloomberg Philanthropies as part of a national initiative to address the opioid crisis.

Stryker Corp. today completed the acquisition of OrthoSPace Ltd., an Israeli company that developed a treatment for massive, irreparable rotator cuff tears.

An upcoming open house provides companies a chance to connect with Spectrum Health, the City of Grand Rapids, Grand Valley State University and the Grand Rapids Public Schools. The city and Spectrum Health organized the Meet the Buyers open house for 2-5p.m., Thursday, March 14 at the David D. Hunting YMCA on Lake Michigan Drive in downtown. The open house gives companies a chance to meet with buyers and learn about bidding opportunities with organizations that have $1.5 billion in annual collective buying power.

Cultivate(MD) Capital Fund II LP, a venture capital fund operated by Grand Rapids-based Genesis Innovation Group, invested in Embody Inc., a Norfolk, Va. company that developed a collagen-based micro-fiber implant for Achilles’ heel and rotator cuff repairs.

GRAND RAPIDS — Along with welcoming new leadership, the Grand Rapids African American Health Institute is preparing to launch a major initiative later this year to bring greater diversity to the region’s health care workforce. Micah Foster became executive director in January at GRAAHI, a 17-year-old nonprofit organization that works to promote parity and eliminate racial disparities in health care. Foster succeeded Shannon Wilson, who in December joined Priority Health as director of Medicaid outreach and quality after leading GRAAHI for eight years.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan earned $605 million on operations in 2018 across all of its businesses amid enrollment growth and continued moderation in premiums for small business health coverage.

Metro Health-University of Michigan Health launched the Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehab program for patients with heart disease.

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital and Covenant HealthCare plan to develop a $40.7 million rehabilitation hospital in Saginaw.

A drug developer rooted in Southwest Michigan and backed by investors across the region may pursue an initial public stock offering that could net up to $86.2 million to support further development and commercialization.

The association health plan two business groups formed last fall for small Michigan-based employers has recorded strong enrollment in its early months. TrascendAHP — created in October by the Lansing-based Small Business Association of Michigan and Warren-based Michigan Business and Professional Association — enrolled about 300 small businesses through January. Those companies account for more than 1,400 contracts between TranscendAHP and their employees for health coverage.

GRAND RAPIDS — West Michigan investment banking firm Charter Capital Partners led a $18.3 million financing round in Malvern, Pa.-based Trice Medical Inc. The Series C capital round will go to expand Trice Medical’s commercialization and accelerate the development of its product portfolio.

At first glance, the 2019 Health Check report published by Grand Valley State University seems to suggest that medical innovation in Michigan and nationally slowed dramatically in recent years. But health care and legal experts say the medical patent numbers in the report don’t quite reflect reality. They cite an array of factors that likely drove steep declines from 2014 to 2017 in the number of medical patents issued and assigned, both nationwide and in Michigan.

KALAMAZOO — More than 60 care providers with a Southwest Michigan medical group plan to switch from Ascension Borgess and instead affiliate with Bronson Healthcare next year. The five-year provider service agreement between Portage Physicians P.C. and Bronson takes effect July 1, 2020. The 30 doctors and 32 physician assistants and nurse practitioners who now practice at six Ascension Borgess ProMed offices in the Kalamazoo area will relocate and staff new Bronson offices.

Mercy Health plans to develop more outpatient medical centers in West Michigan over the next few years. The newest center will come online on East Fulton Street in Ada, where Mercy Health is presently building out space that will house family and internal medicine physicians, neurology, OB-GYN, X-ray, a lab and ancillary services, including physical therapy. Mercy Health expects to offer the first services at the new Ada location in April, said Chief Integration Officer Mary Boyd.

A decision out of Washington, D.C. at the end of last year provides further uncertainty as to how far employers can go with incentives to encourage employees to participate in wellness programs. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in mid-December decided to scrap two rules about wellness incentives. 

GRAND RAPIDS — The organization that provides blood to most of the hospitals in Michigan took on a new name to create a single brand identity with sister centers in neighboring states. Grand Rapids-based Michigan Blood became Versiti Blood Center of Michigan in mid January. The name change comes six years after Michigan Blood affiliated with Milwaukee, Wis.-based Versiti Inc.

KALAMAZOO — Private equity-backed Beacon Specialized Living Services Inc., a provider of specialized residential health care services, has expanded into Minnesota. The deal for Saint Paul, Minn.-based Owakihi Inc. marks the for-profit Beacon’s first foray outside of Michigan, according to a statement.

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