Wayne State, Henry Ford Health discuss combining physician groups
Wayne State University and its medical affiliates are talking about a potential business deal with Henry Ford Health System.
While Wayne State already has various medical education and research arrangements with Henry Ford, the talks underway since at least January involve the possibility of merging or combining the 1,200-physician Henry Ford Medical Group with most of Wayne State’s 400-physician University Physician Group, according to four sources familiar with the matter.
A deal also could expand the current education and research agreements between the two Detroit-based healthcare organizations and would have effects that could reverberate far beyond the two organizations. It signals that the long-term partnership between Wayne State and the Detroit Medical Center may be winding down.
Dr. Jack Sobel, dean of the Wayne State University School of Medicine, confirmed the talks with Henry Ford. He said “multiple other” healthcare organizations also are involved that could help Wayne State become a nationally recognized academic medical center.
Sobel did not specify which other health organizations, but Henry Ford has been talking with healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente of Oakland, Calif., the past two years about business arrangements that could be a part of an enhanced Wayne-Henry Ford relationship. Sobel did not deny Kaiser was involved in the multiparty talks that also include other Southeast Michigan health systems.
David Hefner, Wayne State’s vice president of health affairs, last week confirmed that the university also has talked with Henry Ford and also other major local health systems.
Crain’s contacted the four other health systems in Southeast Michigan. Beaumont Health, St. Joseph and St. John Providence denied they are in talks with Wayne State. McLaren declined to comment. Henry Ford officials declined to comment on the nature of the talks.