Muller says that the MGHS board also recognizes that Duke LifePoint would bring assets, efficiencies and a national reputation for quality.
"We are a fairly large $310 million business and with our scale of purchasing we will immediately save on that," he says. "We can recruit physicians better through Duke. We are also looking for quality oversight, which our doctors are very much looking forward to, even though we are doing well. They know that to compete with Mayo Clinic up here or Henry Ford downstate we need to be a little bit better."
William F. Carpenter III, chairman/CEO of Brentwood, TN-based LifePoint Hospitals, told HealthLeaders Media he doesn't believe that MGHS' remote location will pose significant logistical or cultural challenges.
"Our focus was on North Carolina and the surrounding region but clearly the Duke LifePoint partnership has a range beyond that," he says. "When you look at the map you see a region in the Upper Peninsula that is very well suited to what we are trying to accomplish in that original vision; to build a strong network there around a regional medical center in Marquette."
If the deal is finalized, MGHS will be the first hospital in Michigan for LifePoint, which now operates 56 hospitals in 19 states.