DETROIT (AP) — The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and McLaren Health Care are combining their cancer care and research systems, the nonprofit medical providers announced Wednesday.
Detroit-based Karmanos and Flint-based McLaren said they signed the agreement Wednesday. They said it will "create the largest cancer research and provider network in Michigan."
Karmanos will become a member of McLaren's system. Karmanos and McLaren will "retain their names and remain as separate legal entities" with their own boards of directors, the companies said.
The agreement is expected to become effective "within several weeks," they said in a statement.
"By joining forces with McLaren, this agreement strengthens our ability to provide exceptional cancer care and furthers our commitment to cancer research based right here in Detroit," Karmanos chief executive Gerold Bepler said in a statement.
The agreement makes Karmanos the sole provider of cancer care within McLaren's 10 acute-care hospitals and 14 cancer treatment sites.
Karmanos will "remain anchored in midtown Detroit" and keep its relationships with Wayne State University and the Detroit Medical Center, the companies said.
"We believe this will become a national model for the delivery of exceptional patient-centered, high quality, evidence-based and cost efficient cancer care," said McLaren chief executive Philip A. Incarnati.
However, the Detroit Medical Center expressed disappointment at the move.
The Karmanos board "has been duped into giving up control to an out-of-Detroit party, which ultimately will take away from patients in the City of Detroit," Medical Center President Joe Mullany told the Detroit Free Press.
Bepler said Karmanos was worried that the Detroit Medical Center has shifted its priorities since the eight-hospital system changed in 2011 from a nonprofit network to part of a for-profit corporation, Nashville, Tenn.-based Vanguard Health Systems.
"In the background, there are two completely different motivations that drive business decisions," he said. "On the for-profit side, you want to please shareholders, on the nonprofit side, the community."
Deal details: http://prn.to/1cr6Mry
Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute: http://www.karmanos.org
McLaren Health Care: http://www.mclaren.org