Lansing¿s Dominant Hospital, Health Plan Strengthen Market Positions

Located in geographically isolated mid-Michigan, the Lansing metropolitan area is a highly insular health care market, resistant to entry by outsiders. Most specialty referrals remain in the market, although some subspecialty care—such as transplants and complex cancer care—is sought elsewhere, most often in Ann Arbor or Detroit.

Lansing’s hospital sector continues to be highly concentrated, with two major systems, Sparrow Health System and Ingham Regional Medical Center (IRMC). While Sparrow has traditionally been the larger system, IRMC has successfully pursued profitable specialty-service lines. Lansing’s health plan market is even more highly concentrated than the hospital sector, with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) having increased its already commanding position in recent years.