Michigan House Bills Introduced Today Will Lead to Poorer Healthcare Safety & Quality

June 17th, 2015

Elimination of Certificate of Need will lead to poorer health care

Novi, MI:  The Economic Alliance for Michigan (EAM) denounces Michigan House bills 4728 and 4729, which were introduced today regarding Michigan’s Certificate of Need (CON) process.  The current CON process protects Michigan citizens by increasing quality and safety in hospitals, providing access to low-income persons and creating health care cost-containment and efficiency.

“Certificate of Need saves money,” said EAM President Bret Jackson.  “States that have repealed CON, like Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin, have higher health insurance premiums than Michigan.  The more we spend on health care the less we have to invest in jobs, wages and economic development.”

Currently, Michigan has the lowest employer-sponsored health care benefit premiums in the Great Lakes Region, creating an appeasing atmosphere in attracting companies to build.  This is due to the efficiency of Michigan’s CON process.

Michigan’s health care is also very efficient.  On average, Michigan has more discharges and lesser average charge per procedure than the national average, non-CON states, and even states with a CON process.

Michigan House bills 4728 and 4729, sponsored by Rep. Cindy Gamrat (R-Painwell), will eliminate the CON process and administrative duties in the State of Michigan, creating an atmosphere for higher health care costs and poorer quality of care.

Michigan’s CON process is a safety net for residents.  The process controls the number of acute hospital beds and number of high-risk procedures, such as open heart surgery and organ transplants.  By regulating these high-risk procedures to a smaller portion of hospitals, it enables a higher volume of those procedures to be performed by the same surgical team over and over.  Thus creating higher success rates and less mistakes.

“Elimination of the CON process will create dangers to Michigan residents.  Hospitals that do more procedures have better outcomes.  They are also more efficient,” said Jackson.  “Do you want your open heart surgery at a hospital that performs over 200 per year, or a hospital that performs only 5 per year?”

U.S. News & World Report recently issued an article called “Risks Are High at Low Volume Hospitals.” The analysis reported that patients who have surgery at low-volume hospitals “are more likely to die or suffer complications when treated by doctors who only occasionally see similar patients rather than by experienced teams at hospitals with more patents and established protocols.”

The EAM urges lawmakers to condemn House bills 4728 and 4729 and protect Michigan residents by keeping the CON process intact.

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