November 1, 2012 – Beaumont Hospital (A1 / 780486GD2) and Henry Ford Health System (A1 / 59465HMA1) have signed a letter of intent to pursue a merger and combine their operations into a new $6.4 billion organization. The CEOs of the nonprofit systems and chairs of both Boards of Trustees announced Wednesday that they have entered a 120-day negotiation period to integrate their 10 hospitals and 200 patient care sites. An agreement is expected in the first half of 2013 that officials say will improve patient care with access to 7,000 doctors and 2,600 clinical trials, protect about 42,000 employees, and save millions in supply purchases alone. For patients, officials said the new organization will offer a broader, more convenient network of medical centers and physicians; better outcomes with the combined expertise of specialists; and coordinated care with an electronic medical record system called Epic. The merger talks were prompted by the on-going transformation of how health care is offered, how it is funded and how it measured as reimbursement for services declines and the focus shifts from treating sick people to keeping them healthy.