Nessel plans to review potential Beaumont merger deal

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel will review a proposed merger that would make the nonprofit Beaumont Health part of a 28-hospital health system across three states.

In addition, the attorney general said she plans to review the proposed sale of Beaumont subsidiaries' nonprofit assets to the for-profit Superior Air Ground Ambulance Inc. 

Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn.

Nessel announced the review more than a month after the state's largest health system said it was entering talks with the not-for-profit Advocate Aurora Health to create a health system that spans hospitals in Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan. 

In late May, the eight-hospital, Southfield-based health system ended a planned partnership with Akron, Ohio-based Summa Health. 

Nessel said she was looking into the deal between Beaumont and Advocate Aurora after Beaumont Health approached her office to outline the basic terms of the agreement. Beaumont will provide additional materials related to the deal. 

Beaumont Health said it remained committed to remaining a nonprofit organization, a designation the health system said was at the core of its values.

"We welcome this part of the standard business review process and we are providing the attorney general with all necessary information," said Mark Geary, a spokesman for the health system.

The Attorney General's Office is responsible for protecting nonprofit or charitable assets. 

“Institutions like nonprofit hospitals and health care providers play a very unique role in the communities they serve, and my job as attorney general during transactions involving these entities is to ensure those charitable assets are not used for private gain,” she said in a statement Thursday.   

If charitable assets are affected, Nessel's review of the deal could take six to nine months as the office inspects the health system, conducts interviews with employees or board members, and issues a report.