Government and Health Care

Senate panel would eliminate Alliance for Health

September 25, 2012
| By Pete Daly |
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The Economic Development Committee of the Michigan Senate voted in favor of proposed legislation that would eliminate the Alliance for Health from the Certificate of Need process regarding local health care advisements.

The AFH, headquartered in Grand Rapids, was founded 40 years ago to represent a coalition of groups in the west central region of Michigan. It makes recommendations to the Michigan Department of Community Health, which issues Certificates of Need, based on a determination that proposed new medical care facilities will be in the best overall interest of the people who live in the region.

Construction of unnecessary medical facilities creates inefficiencies that drive up medical care costs to the consumer.

The AFH does not receive any state funding and is supported by contributions from the coalition members.

The Economic Development Committee is reviewing proposed legislation to amend the Certificate of Need process, sponsored by State Sen. Mike Kowall, R-White Lake.

“The legislative attempt to disenfranchise the people of West Michigan after 40 years of involvement and partnership with the state … is disconcerting,” said Lody Zwarensteyn, president and CEO of Alliance for Health.

AFH was the first local agency designated in the CON program, starting in 1972, and has been continuously involved since then.

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