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Beaumont Health's main hospital campus in Royal Oak, Michigan. Photo: Beaumont Health

Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health have signed a merger agreement that would combine a health insurance company and 22 hospitals into one tax-exempt system with almost $13 billion in annual revenue.

Why it matters: This deal would form the largest hospital system in Michigan, raising new concerns about what would happen to hospital and physician prices if the merger is ultimately approved.

Between the lines: This is Beaumont's third attempt at a large-scale merger since 2019. Talks with two out-of-state systems, Summa Health in Ohio and Advocate Aurora Health in Illinois and Wisconsin, fell apart.

By the numbers: The coronavirus pandemic led to large drops in hospitalizations, procedures and tests at hospitals. But the pandemic did not affect Spectrum's financial position. And Beaumont, which treated more COVID patients than any other hospital system in Michigan, managed to stay well above water, according to financial documents.

  • Spectrum: Revenue soared 14% to $8.3 billion in 2020, and operating income jumped 24% to $412 million.
  • Beaumont: Revenue dropped 3% $4.6 billion in 2020, and operating income fell 10% to $167 million.
  • The two systems, combined, are sitting on more than $8 billion of cash and investments as of March 31 of this year.
  • Bailout dollars: Spectrum has received $198 million, and Beaumont has received $387 million through the federal government's various bailout funds earmarked for hospitals, doctors and other providers during the pandemic.

Go deeper: The pandemic isn't stopping hospitals from consolidating

Go deeper

Updated Jul 28, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan group reaches agreement on $1.2 trillion "hard" infrastructure bill

Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images.

After weeks of long nights and endless Zoom calls, a bipartisan group of senators finally reached a deal on "the major issues" in their $1.2 trillion "hard" infrastructure package, GOP senators involved in the talks announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: It could be days before the group finishes writing the bill, but the Senate can begin debating the legislation in earnest now that they have resolved the outstanding issues. The bill needs 60 votes to advance in the Senate.

Biden details new vaccination initiatives as COVID cases surge

Joe Biden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Biden detailed several new initiatives on Thursday to get more Americans vaccinated and slow the spread of the Delta variant.

Why it matters: The plan outlines aggressive next steps from the federal government as COVID-19 cases surge across the country due to the contagious Delta variant and as demand for vaccines has tapered off.

Senate passes $2.1 billion Capitol security funding bill

U.S. Capitol police officers testify during a House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot on July 27, 2021. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via Xinhua

The Senate passed a $2.1 billion Capitol security funding bill Thursday by a 98-0 vote.

Why it matters: The legislation provides funding for the Capitol Police, the National Guard and other agencies to cover the costs incurred during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.