Michigan Senate votes against new hospital in Clarkston

December 4th, 2014

Lansing, Michigan:  Today the Michigan Senate voted against Senate bill 1073 (11-26), a bill allowing McLaren Health to build a new hospital in Independence Township by amending the Certificate of Need (CON) standards.

Friends of Certificate of Need, a 90 plus coalition of businesses, purchasers, health systems, and unions have opposed the bill since its conception claiming rising health care costs due to unneeded projects such as McLaren’s proposed hospital place increasing pressure on employers to reduce jobs, cut benefits and/or increase costs for workers.  The coalition also raised concerns about politicians favoring one corporation over another through policy revisions.

“Lawmakers in Michigan have done the right thing by not allowing this bill to pass.  We thank them for caring about health care cost containment for the state.  A ninth hospital in an area with too few of patients would have caused significant financial stress to the healthcare industry,” stated Bret Jackson, president of the Economic Alliance for Michigan.  “We also want to thank the Friends of Certificate of Need for all their hard work.”

“We’re pleased that there is a clear recognition in the Michigan Senate that it is critical to maintain the CON process and contain health care costs wherever possible,” says Delaney McKinley, director of human resource policy for Michigan Manufacturers Association.

McLaren has requested the Michigan Supreme Court for an appeals permission but still awaiting a decision.

Hospital project may cost Flint area 500 jobs

November 28th, 2014:  “Genesys Health System claim that a new McLaren hospital just 21 miles south on I-75 would force Genesys to scale back its expansion plans. They estimate that about 10 percent of patients — or about 7,000 discharges annually — would not go to Genesys.

“Will it hurt us? Yes, it will,” said Betsy Aderholdt, president and CEO of Genesys.

It would mean about a $25-million change in Genesys’ bottom line and an estimated current 500 jobs lost, she said.”

Read More via MLive (Flint Journal):  http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2014/11/genesys_officials_clarkston_ho.html

Lawmakers should be looking for ways to lower the cost of health care

Detroit News Op-Ed:  “It is easy to take risks when you are using someone else’s money. The cost of building and running hospitals is paid by you and me through our health insurance premiums and tax dollars.”  Read More: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/2014/10/21/mclaren-certificate-need/17631189/

Powerful Coalition Supporting Certificate of Need

McLaren Health Care Inc.’s move to secure legislative approval to build a new $300 million hospital north of Detroit has once again generated support across the state for Michigan’s certificate-of-need regulations.

“You can create enough care that will meet the needs, but not enough that you have costs galore,” – See more at: http://mibiz.com/item/21901-coalition-urges-state-to-preserve-certificate-of-need-process#sthash.z7GUY03h.dpuf

For a list of Friends of Certificate of Need members go to:  https://friendsofcon.com/our-members/

CON attack is costly to entire state

September 28th, 2014

Grand Rapids Business Journal

“The Economic Alliance for Michigan President Bret Jackson noted during hearings such a plan drives up the cost of health care — not just in the Wayne-Oakland area but across the state — and undermines the CON process. He noted the CON was specifically created to minimize health care increases.”  Read more:  http://www.grbj.com/articles/80689-con-attack-is-costly-to-west-michigan-businesses

Opponents Seek to Stop Fast-Track Bill Allowing New Hospital


For Immediate Release: Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014                           

Contact: Kelly Rossman-McKinney 517-749-0529 (c), 517-487-9320 (o)

Opponents seek to derail fast-track bill allowing McLaren to build hospital that state calls unneeded

LANSING, Mich. – Opponents today lined up to testify against legislation that would allow McLaren Health Care to build a hospital tower in Clarkston, even though the state and the courts have denied the project, saying it is not needed.

They included a broad range of representatives from Michigan business, consumer, hospital, payer, union and other groups – all members of Friends of Certificate of Need. The group actively supports the state’s Certificate of Need (CON) review process as an effective tool to avoid unnecessary costs while improving access to quality health services.

Testifying in opposition to the bill was John Karebian, executive director of the Michigan Nurses Association, which joined Friends of Certificate of Need immediately after the Sept. 16 introduction of the carve-out bill, Senate Bill 1073.

“(McLaren) is picking winners and losers among patients,” Karebian said in reference to McLaren moving beds from its hospital in Pontiac to affluent Clarkston.

“McLaren is trying to do an end run around the state’s Certificate of Need (CON) approval process, which has repeatedly rejected McLaren’s plan to build a $300 million, 200-bed hospital tower in northern Oakland County,” said Bret Jackson, president of the Economic Alliance for Michigan, the state’s only business-labor coalition. “No matter that the plan would drive up the cost of health care across the state and undermine the CON process, which was specifically created to minimize health care increases.”

Under its original February 2012 Certificate of Need application, which was denied by the Michigan Department of Community Health, McLaren asked to move 200 unused beds from its McLaren Oakland Hospital in Pontiac to a new hospital in Clarkston. McLaren filed suit in June 2013 to reverse the decision to deny the application, but Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Colleen O’Brien ruled against McLaren in December.

Opponents say rapidly rising health care costs due to unneeded projects such as McLaren’s proposed hospital place increasing pressure on employers to reduce jobs, cut benefits and/or increase costs for workers.

“The trend in health care across the nation is for less hospitalization,” Roger W. Spoelman, regional president and CEO of CHE Trinity Health West Michigan, testified.

Mark Lemoine, director of system government affairs for Spectrum Health, said: “Senate Bill 1073 is not simply an issue limited to a few hospitals in Oakland County. It affects all health systems, businesses and residents across the state.”

The committee adjourned without taking a vote.

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