July 24, 2016

Keith Crain: Some industries are thriving in Southeast Michigan

There are plenty of businesses that are doing OK these days. And happily, a lot of them are based in Southeast Michigan.

Everybody who lives around here knows darn well that the automobile business is doing really well. GM announced quarterly profits that were double the previous year’s. Suppliers are working lots of overtime to meet the demands of their customers. And, just about every car dealer in the Detroit community is enjoying record sales. If you are in the car business, things are good.

But that’s not the only industry that seems to be doing very well these days. All you have to do is drive by one of our hospitals and you quickly realize the health care industry is doing very well indeed. If ever Beaumont was going to merge with two other hospital systems in Detroit, they picked the perfect time. When your hospitals are booming, it sure is easier to gloss over some minor and major shortcomings. But, overall, it was perfect timing to create a new system from three existing ones.

Health care is doing very well in Southeastern Michigan at the physician and service provider level as well. Just try to get an appointment with a doctor or lab and you’ll discover how big a backlog they have today. And no one is giving away services. Sure, it helps a lot that there are plenty of government-sponsored insurance systems out there, and I am sure that they are also doing quite well. Anything and anyone connected with health care should be doing very well with lots of profits. Everyone seems to be looking for employees, and mosts hospitals have a long list of job openings.

If you take a look at our nation’s demographics, you quickly realize that our population is aging and they are getting older rather rapidly. Obviously, as our population ages, they will need even more health care, and that certainly bodes well for the health care providers.

The advancement in medicine is quite extraordinary. But as we see more and more revolutionary cures in health care, we are seeing costs skyrocket. And there is no reason to believe that these medical breakthroughs aren’t going to continue.

There is no doubt that our nation’s economy is sluggish in terms of economic growth right now. But there are pockets of prosperity all around. All you have to do is look.

July 24, 2016, Crain’s Detroit Business