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Former Spectrum Health CFO questions potential merger with Beaumont Health

Spectrum Health Medical Center.jpg
Posted at 11:01 AM, Jun 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-29 15:02:43-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A former Spectrum Health CFO is questioning the potential merger of Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health.

Michael Freed is concerned for a variety of reasons, including issues of governance, transparency, corporate structure, commitments and the market value vs. Book value of Priority Health, according to an open letter he wrote.

Freed says Spectrum Health – and West Michigan – would eventually find itself outvoted on the potential new system’s board on key issues.

In addition, he hasn’t been able to find Beaumont Health’s financial statements available to the public, raising questions about transparency.

He also isn’t convinced the merger would honor Spectrum Health’s commitment to West Michigan and would instead offer too much to other parts of the state.

Read the full letter here.

“I love Spectrum Health,” Freed wrote. “I consider the people who work there as family. I readily admit I don’t see a compelling reason for Spectrum Health to merge with anyone. If, as a board, you insist on pursuing this path, then first execute your fiduciary responsibility to the region that depends on you and provide appropriate compensation to that region before embarking on a new path. When you sign the documents that will permanently change this region, your signature will forever hold you accountable for the repercussions. Please sign carefully.”

A Spectrum Health statement said the health system is still "excited" about the potential merger.

“Spectrum Health remains enthusiastic about the prospect of bringing together two of Michigan’s most respected health systems to create a new system for Michigan by Michigan," the statement said. "Spectrum Health is fully committed to fulfilling its consent decree obligations and will continue to uphold its tenets. We have no plans to sell Priority Health. It is a significant part of our vision and strategy to provide affordable health care and coverage. We remain confident that creating a new system not only meets our current obligations to our local communities but will also improve the health of individuals in West Michigan and throughout the state.”