One of the best was to a squelch persistent rumor is to acknowledge that it's true.
Last week Henry Ford Health System and Beaumont Health System did just that.
Two of the largest not-for-profit health systems in Michigan publicly confirmed long-swirling speculation that they're pursuing a merger that, if finalized early next year, will create a $6.4 billion integrated healthcare organization serving the southeastern part of the state.
"This kind of change is sweeping every kind of hospital in the United States," Gene Michalski, CEO of Royal Oak-based Beaumont said Thursday in a teleconference confirming the deal.
"Healthcare reform is not going to go away," Michalski said. "There are too many forces that want change in this country to get higher quality, lower cost healthcare for the populations we serve. It is clearly transformative and it is our belief that this collaboration, the joining of these two wonderful health systems, will be transformative in its own right."
"In short, we want to lead events not trail events. These are both strong health systems. We didn't have to partner. We chose to partner."