Ascension divesting 3 Michigan hospitals to MyMichigan Health

Ascension has a definitive agreement in place to offload three northern Michigan hospitals and other facilities to MyMichigan Health.

The deal is still subject to regulatory and other third-party approvals but is expected to close this summer, according to the organizations’ Tuesday announcement. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Inpatient locations included in the transaction are the 238-bed Ascension St. Mary’s of Saginaw, the 47-bed Ascension St. Joseph in Tawas and the 25-bed critical access hospital Ascension St. Mary’s of Standish. Also making the jump would be Ascension St. Mary’s Towne Center, an ambulatory surgery center, wound care center, ED and short stay facility, and the hospitals’ related care sites and physician practices within Ascension Medical Group.

“As a regional provider, MyMichigan Health is well positioned to carry on this legacy, serving the community through an integrated care delivery system,” Jordan Jeon, interim regional president and CEO of Ascension Michigan’s northern region and chief strategy officer of Ascension Michigan, said in the announcement. “This transition will ensure that Saginaw, Tawas City and Standish have sustainable, quality health care access long into the future.”

Midland, Michigan-based MyMichigan Health is a nonprofit with 789 acute care beds spread across nine hospitals. It reported just under $3.5 billion in gross revenues and a slim operating $13 million income during its 2023 fiscal year. It has a clinical and business partnership with the University of Michigan’s Michigan Medicine.

Ascension, one of the country’s largest Catholic systems, reported over $28 billion in fiscal 2023 revenue but a $1.6 billion operating loss (excluding a one-time noncash impairment loss). Though it stemmed some of the bleeding in more recent quarters, the system’s management said it remains focused on ensuring its financial sustainability.

Part of that effort appears to be a reimagining of its Michigan operations. In October, Ascension announced that it would be handing over management of eight acute care hospitals within the state to Henry Ford Health as part of a new joint venture arrangement with the Detroit nonprofit.

Should the deals close, Ascension Michigan would have just four hospitals remaining, per location listings on its website.

The partners said they will work to prevent disruptions in services or procedures during the handoff.

In the meantime, Lydia Watson, M.D., president and CEO of MyMichigan Health, said the organization is putting together a planning process that incorporates employees and community members. The system is also in the process of selecting a president for the facilities and will announce a name “in the near future.”

“This agreement expands MyMichigan’s commitment and purpose in Creating Healthy Communities—Together, while building on Ascension Michigan’s already strong heritage of providing personalized and compassionate care, with the benefit of added quaternary care through our relationship with Michigan Medicine,” Watson said in a statement.