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Spectrum Should Be OK After Helicopter Crash

The incident probably won't have much of an impact on the system's operations.

Spectrum Health System and the Priority Health companies should be little affected by the explosive crash of an Aero Med trauma helicopter on the roof of Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, Mich., this morning.

The crash caused a complete power outage at the hospital and put two crew members in the ER, but no other injuries have been reported, and there were no passengers aboard.

Spectrum Health System, a nonprofit organization that operates both the helicopter and the hospital, said it put into place their emergency-evacuation plans and immediately suspended all surgeries.

Spectrum is the largest not-for-profit health system in Western Michigan, offering health care under the following Priority Health companies:

The hospital, which is the only Level 1 trauma center in the area, was not expected to remain out of operation for too long, according to a press release. The incident should not affect its ability to provide essential health care.

Elizabeth Isham Cory, a spokeswoman for the FAA in Chicago, told

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, "We basically believe it was practicing approaches" when the helicopter crashed. An FAA investigation was due to start immediately.

Incidents such as this morning's accident are not factored into most ratings agencies' calculations. According to the hospital, its care-giving ability will not be severely affected by the incident, and policy holders should be able to continue to receive the care that they contracted for with Priority Health.

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for our current ratings of health insurance companies. Ratings provides ratings to help professionals and consumers alike make educated purchasing decisions. Our ratings, unlike those of other rating companies, focus not only on the effect of mild economic adversity on the ability of companies to pay claims but also on their ability to deal with severe economic adversity and sharp increases in claims.

Gavin Magor joined Ratings in 2008, and is the senior analyst responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to health insurers and supporting other health care-related consumer products, including Medicare supplement insurance, long-term care insurance and elder care information. He conducts industry analysis in these areas. He has more than 20 years' international experience in credit risk management, commercial lending and analysis, working in the U.K., Sweden, Mexico, Brazil and the U.S. He holds a master's degree in business administration from The Open University in the U.K.