ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) -- Two southeastern Michigan health systems say they have signed an agreement to combine operations into a single, $6.4 billion nonprofit organization.
Beaumont and Henry Ford health systems announced Wednesday they aim to reach a final agreement next year to merge their 10 hospitals and 200 other facilities.
Officials say the two systems would keep their names and medical staffs would remain independent. But the combined organization would get a new name and it would be led by a single board with equal representation from both systems.
The hospitals intend to maintain their existing medical school relationships but combine their foundations.
System leaders say the merger is driven by big changes to the health care industry, including declining reimbursement for care and a shift away from treatment at traditional hospitals.