Published in Breaking News

Health Pointe project receives final approval from Grand Haven Township

BY Tuesday, March 29, 2016 09:52am

GRAND HAVEN — A joint venture between Spectrum Health and Holland Hospital expects to begin construction this spring on a $50 million medical campus in the Grand Haven area.

Health Pointe Inc. last night received zoning approval from the Grand Haven Township Board of Trustees that was needed for the project to proceed.

The joint venture has also earned certificate-of-need approval from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for a $12.1 million outpatient surgical center at the Health Pointe facility, said Mark Pawlak, a director at Health Pointe and Holland Hospital’s senior vice president for quality, information services and operations.

“The next step is to get that property prepared so that we can get on schedule to complete the building in time for an opening in late 2017,” Pawlak said.

The CON approval is for one surgical suite. Health Pointe will eventually have three and intends to apply for state approval within the next six months for the two additional surgical suites that will come later, Pawlak said. Health Pointe should have no trouble meeting state CON volume requirements for the two additional operating rooms, he said.

“We believe we have the numbers,” Pawlak said.

In its CON application to the state, Health Pointe projected handling 1,144 surgical cases in its first year of operation, and 2,000 in the second year.

Heath Pointe ran into opposition from some local residents and North Ottawa Community Health System. Opponents argued that the project would take away market share and patient volumes for profitable medical services, threatening North Ottawa’s viability and the ability to maintain medical services that traditionally lose money, such as a 24-hour ER and a birthing unit.

Many of the patients going to Holland for care or procedures do so because that’s where they are referred by Spectrum doctors practicing in Grand Haven, artificially inflating volumes and the case for Health Pointe, according to North Ottawa President and CEO Shelleye Yaklin.

“That’s why the patients travel the distance that they travel. It’s because they are sent there,” Yaklin said.

Planned for a 12-acre site on the north end of Grand Haven Township, the 120,000-square-foot Health Pointe facility will house primary-care medical practices, specialty physicians, an urgent care center, laboratory services, medical imaging such as MRI and CT, and the outpatient surgical center.

The campus would consolidate the Spectrum Health Medical Group’s local physician practices and medical services into a single location and give Holland Hospital a physical presence in northwestern Ottawa County for the first time.

Health Pointe also needs to secure CON approval to offer MRI and CT imaging at the planned Grand Haven facility.

As part of the zoning approval, Health Pointe agreed to make an annual payment in lieu of taxes to Grand Haven Township to support public services, such as police and fire protection, should the medical facility become exempt from property taxes. The payment would start at $43,200 for the first year and adjust annually for inflation.

Health Pointe, which was organized as a tax-exempt corporation, also agreed to pay $132,000 for upgrades to nearby roads leading to the project site.

“We think it was the right thing to do,” Pawlak said of the payments. “We would like to be (tax exempt) and if we become a tax-exempt organization then we will pay our fair share of what the township needs for infrastructure.”

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