Six Michigan health systems form proton beam consortium

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A consortium of six Michigan healthcare systems, including the state’s only two National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers, have created a collaborative venture to bring proton beam therapy to the state’s residents.

The consortium was formed to mitigate the costs of proton beam therapy, starting with the $160 million needed to build a treatment center.

The six health systems that have agreed to the collaborative to date are:

  • Genesys Hurley Cancer Institute in Grand Blanc;
  • Henry Ford Health System in Detroit;
  • Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit;
  • McLaren Health Care (the Great Lakes Cancer Institute-McLaren) in Flint;
  • Trinity Health (St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor); and
  • University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor.

“The collaborative will be working diligently over the next few months to develop a viable business plan to ensure that we bring this exciting technology to Michigan in a timely manner,” said Robert P. Kelch, MD, executive vice president for medical affairs at the University of Michigan (U-M) and CEO of the U-M Health System.

At the same time, the consortium said it will provide greater economic benefit to Michigan than a single hospital provider, since it will spread an economic benefit across a wide array of providers and communities. In addition, the consortium ensures the state will have one proton beam center operating at high efficiency versus multiple centers operating at low volumes, risking financial and operational viability.

“Working together as part of a consortium will ensure that proton beam therapy is available to all in Michigan who need it, regardless of where they live or what hospital their insurance covers. This consortium of non-profit hospitals—the trusted source of medical care for Michigan's citizens—is best poised to develop this promising therapy for the state,” said Nancy Schlichting, president and CEO of Henry Ford.