Spectrum awaits panel on bone marrow rules

May 22, 2009
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Spectrum Health has withdrawn its application to provide bone marrow transplants to adults while a state committee reviews standards for the service.

Grand Rapids’ largest health system is awaiting a Standards Advisory Committee review of Certificate of Need standards for bone marrow transplants, according to spokesman Bruce Rossman. The original application was filed last year.

“After that tack was taken, it was decided the request isn’t viable and we were going to withdraw that and work with the group as it goes on to see if we can get the standards viewed and changed,” Rossman said.

In written documents and at meetings, representatives of Spectrum Health have urged the department to consider allocating both bone marrow transplant and heart transplant programs on a geographic basis. Currently neither of those services is available in West Michigan, although pediatric bone marrow transplants are done at Spectrum’s Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

As of last week, however, the Michigan Department of Community Health had not yet named the bone marrow standards committee. “We hope the time taken to name the committee isn’t indicative of the rest of the process is going to go,” Rossman said.

“We still think a program is warranted here. We have a lot of the elements already in place and, once we know what changes have been made to the standards, we hope to refuel and submit an appropriate CON application.”

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