Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm vetoed a move by the states Certificate of Need Commission to restrict the provision of proton-beam therapy to a consortium of the states largest cancer providers in order to head off duplication of the expensive technology.
The move hasnt deterred six organizations that stepped forward to create such a collaborative, said a spokesman for one of the members. They still believe in and support the value of working together, Henry Ford Health System spokesman Dwight Angell said in a written statement.
In a letter explaining her decision, Granholm cited the potential unintended consequences of creating special treatment for proton therapy over competing technologies that might benefit patients. She also cited comments from the Justice Departments Antitrust Division, which concluded that the proposed standards are likely to harm competition and will potentially result in harm to cancer patients in Michigan, as well as present a possible violation of federal antitrust law.
Granholms veto creates a new opening for Beaumont Hospitals to win approval for its application for a proton-beam facility on its Royal Oak, Mich., campus, a $159 million joint venture with Bloomington, Ind.-based ProCure Treatment Centers, which the CON Commission must act on by July 1. Beaumont President and Chief Executive Officer Ken Matzick said he is in favor of a collaborative approach to the service and is in talks with two other Michigan health systems. We didnt think that mandating who should work together was a very rational approach to bringing proton-beam therapy to the state, Matzick said. -- by Gregg Blesch