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Beaumont, Summa Health delay merger

Southfield, Mich.-based Beaumont Health is delaying its merger with Akron, Ohio-based Summa Health due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Beaumont CEO John Fox said during a news briefing April 21. 

"Both Summa and Beaumont are all hands on deck during the COVID-19 pandemic," Mr. Fox said. "We are deferring that merger until we have a bit more clarity about this crisis."

Beaumont, an eight-hospital system, signed a definitive agreement to acquire Summa Health, a four hospital system, Jan. 6. 

Mr. Fox said that while the merger is deferred, the two health systems still talk several times a week. 

"The Summa board is working closely with Beaumont to finalize the path forward and the appropriate timing to combine our organizations," Mike Bernstein, Summa Health's director of corporate communications, told Becker's Hospital Review. "The immediate priority is for both Summa and Beaumont to focus first and foremost on caring for our patients, employees, physicians and communities as we are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic."

Beaumont also announced plans to permanently lay off 450 staff members, cut executive pay and furlough 2,475 workers due to the "dire" financial hit from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week Beaumont reported a net loss of $278.4 million in the first quarter of 2020, which ended March 31. The health system attributed the loss to the COVID-19 pandemic, which damaged operating and nonoperating income. 


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