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Sep 20

Michigan government makes it harder for hospitals to offer new cancer treatments

Michigan’s government, like governments elsewhere, requires new clinics and hospitals to get government permission before opening or offering new treatments. The State’s “Certificate of Need” Commission determines if a new startup clinic might bring unfair competition to preexisting, entrenched hospitals. (And people wonder why health care costs are so high!)

On Thursday, Michigan’s government commission voted to bar new health care providers from offering new immunotherapy cancer treatments unless the providers go through an elaborate maze of procedures. Such treatments attempt to program the body’s own immune system to attack and kill cancer cells.

The government board imposed a rule requiring hospitals to go through unnecessary third-party accreditation processes before being able to offer CAR T-cell therapies. The rule “effectively means only large, wealthy, hospital-based cancer centers will be able to offer the treatments.” See here.