The University of Michigan Health System last week announced it has signed an agreement to acquire a piece of MidMichigan Health, a nonprofit system that serves a 14-county region in the center of the state.

The providers would join their clinical and business offices and jointly develop a regional cancer center. It would be the university health system’s first affiliation outside southeast Michigan, according to the two organizations.

The move will also help prepare for new federal and state programs, such as accountable care organizations, officials said.

The university health system would acquire an 8% to 9% interest in MidMichigan, according to a report in Crain’s Detroit Business. The transaction does not involve cash. More details will be released over the next few months, the hospitals said.

“UMHS is internationally known for quality and the depth of care they provide,” a MidMichigan physician,
J. Christopher Hough, said in the news release announcing the tie-up. “MidMichigan Health has an excellent base of primary care providers and physician specialists. However, we need to improve our access to care locally, in this region, so more people can get the care they need without enduring the difficulty of frequent and extended travel while ill.”

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