CARO (WJRT) (12/5/2017) - Caro Community Hospital is merging with McLaren Health Care to become the Grand Blanc-based medical giant's 13th hospital.
But the leadership at Caro hospital says patients likely won't notice much of a difference beyond new signs and access to more specialists or telemedicine options in the small town.
The 91-year-old hospital will be called McLaren Caro Region and will continue as a 25-bed inpatient and outpatient facility.
"It's a huge step into our future, really says a lot about the things that we've been doing here at Caro," said Caro Community Hospital President and CEO Marc Augsburger.
Augsburger said Caro hospital officials had been working on a deal for more than half the year and had considered other mergers, but decided McLaren was the best fit.
While Caro might be a small part of McLaren's $5 billion-a-year operation, Augsburger said the local hospital officials will remain -- including the Board of Trustees.
He said health care funding challenges played a huge role in deciding to move forward with McLaren.
"Reimbursement is ever changing in health care and certainly becoming much tougher for small hospitals," Augsburger said. "There is a significant trend across the entire nation where hospitals, whether large or small, are consolidating."