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Summa Merger With Michigan-Based Beaumont Health Has Been Scrapped

A photo of Summa health
SUMMA HEALTH
Summa Health will remain independent and its CEO says the pandemic's impact on the system has not been as bad as originally forecast.

A deal that would have seen Summa Health merge with one of Michigan's largest hospital systems has been canceled.

Beaumont Health made the announcement that it was pulling out of the deal Friday. 

Akron's Summa Health had been looking for a partner to help bolster its presence in Northeast Ohio’s crowded healthcare market.

Summa President and CEO Dr. Cliff Deveny said after months of negotiations they were notified last week that the deal would be canceled.

"We got a green light from all the regulatory agencies at the end of March. And we were within days of closing on April 1. Obviously with the pandemic, and Detroit being in a much worse situation (than Ohio), their focus was on caring for their patients and their community, as was Summa Health's."

Deveny said the coronavirus pandemic has hit healthcare hard.

"Right now we're all going to be showing operational losses because of shutting down operations in half of March, April and parts of May. We are about 85% of where we were pre-COVID, today in May."

The merger would have created a massive health system of 45,000 employees and more than 6,000 doctors.

Summa is still open to finding a healthcare partner, but Deveny said the healthcare system is weathering the financial storm of the pandemic better than expected.

Summa is starting to hire back some workers who were either furloughed or had their hours cut during the pandemic.

Beaumont declined to comment for this story.