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Published in Health Care
Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services COURTESY PHOTO

Pine Rest appeals state denial for new psych beds

BY Tuesday, April 13, 2021 12:08pm

CUTLERVILLE — Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services has appealed the state’s expected denial of a request to add inpatient psychiatric beds at its Cutlerville campus.

The appeal contests a proposed Michigan Department of Health and Human decision to instead award certificate-of-need approval to Auburn Hills-based Havenwyck Hospital Inc. to develop a 60-bed inpatient psychiatric hospital near Mercy Health’s Southwest Campus at Byron Center Avenue and 64th Street. Mercy Health and Havenwyck last week announced the formation of a joint venture to develop the facility.

The Department of Health and Human Services decision came after a comparative review of competing applications filed last fall by Havenwyck and Pine Rest to develop new psychiatric facilities using 60 additional adult inpatient beds available in Kent County under existing CON regulations. The appeal by Pine Rest puts that decision on hold for now.

In the appeal to the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules, Pine Rest claims that Havenwyck’s CON application “did not include key required details which, in similar situations, has led the State to disqualify past applications from consideration,” CEO Mark Eastburg wrote today in a memo to staff.

“We believe in the Certificate of Need process as a way to control health care costs and lay the groundwork for quality healthcare in Michigan. We are simply asking that the state-level CON process be followed consistently to ensure fairness and to have integrity,” Eastburg wrote. “While we remain hopeful our application will ultimately be approved, our commitment to life-changing behavioral health care will not stop regardless of the outcome. Pine Rest’s promise to Michigan is to work with our community and our partners to ensure quality behavioral health care is accessible to all. We continue to plan and strive for that day.”

In a CON application last fall to the state, Pine Rest proposed adding 60 adult inpatient beds at the 68th Street campus in Cutlerville. If the appeal succeeds, Pine Rest could immediately house psychiatric beds in a 40-bed special care unit now temporarily licensed for COVID-19 patients.

“Those beds – two thirds of the licensed beds in question – would be available almost immediately, without the need to build a new hospital,” Eastburg wrote.

As the Pine Rest appeal proceeds, state lawmakers are again considering legislation that could make the issue moot.

A bill that passed the state Senate on March 24 on a 20-15 vote would remove psychiatric beds from the CON review process. S.B. 181, part of a broader package of bills to alter CON regulations in Michigan, is now under consideration in the state House.

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