Michigan township continues to push for hospital after certificate-of-need denial

Township and health system officials are still fighting to get certificate-need-approval for a Beaumont Health hospital in Oxford Township, Mich., after the original proposal was denied in 2020, Michigan Capitol Confidential reported July 25.

Michigan's Department of Health and Human Services requires that prior to opening or expanding any hospital, the certificate-of-need commission has to decide whether or not the new site is necessary for the community to avoid having too many services too close together. 

A 2019 study found that Oxford needed 121 additional hospital beds. The township then partnered with Beaumont Health, who offered $225 million toward the construction. Oxford and Beaumont Health had already invested over $3 million in preparations for the hospital when the plan was denied in February 2020.

The Federal Trade Commission has said CON laws are bad for a competitive market and restrict accessible care. Michigan is one of 35 U.S. states that have these laws. 

"Within a fifteen-mile radius of Oxford, there are 529,000 people with only three hospitals to serve them," according to the publication. "Atlanta, with a population of 498,000, has 39 hospitals. Kansas City has 17 hospitals to serve a population of 508,000."

Currently in the township, it takes on average 25 minutes for a patient to be picked up and brought to a hospital. 

Oxford Township Supervisor Jack Curtis said though there have been continued meetings, the plan for construction remains in limbo. 

"The bureaucratic nightmare of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services doesn’t work for the health and benefit of any community," Mr. Curtis told the publication. "Every hospital group has fought Beaumont from coming."

Lynn Stuffin, a spokesperson for MDHHS, told the publication that while the hospital is in a limited access area, the township and health system have not shown that the hospital will serve a population of over 50,000. 

The CON commission has agreed to review the proposal and reevaluate the need based on population in late 2022.

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