Page 10-Thursday, May 28, 1981-The Michigan Daily
OFFICIALS SAY HEALTH COSTS WILL INCREASE
Health agency phase-out foreseen
(Continued from Page 5)
$150,000, we recommend to the state whether it (the
certification of. need) should be granted.'' The
University Hospital replacement project "probably
would have cost about $140 million more" without
CHPC-SEM's analysis, said Kingzett.
"The theory behind health planning is to reduce
health care costs by controlling capital investmen-
ts," said Jim Chesney, assistant professor of health
planning administration at the University. If the
regional agencies are eliminated and state planning
funds reduced, "it means there is no regulatory con-
trol on hospital capital expenses. Health costs can go
skyrocketing," said Chesney, who is also a-member
of the Washtenaw board of CHPC-SEM.
Kingzett said the state's ability to prevent medical
care duplication would be hampered by the budget
CHPC-SEM IS also charged with developing a plan
that willtreduce a surplus of hospital beds in the
southeastern Michigan area, thus holding down
health care costs.,
Hospital bed reduction and prevention of service
duplication can be taken over at the state level, but
the main impact of the phase-out will be the loss of
planning input at the local level, according to
Chesney and Richard Schmidt, director of OHMA.
Kingzett said the agency also works with hospitals
to develop plans to improve public health care in
areas such as alcoholism and'high blood pressure.
"It looks like this is it-when
the money goes, we're out of
-Ralph Kingzett, public affairs
spokesman for CHPC-SEM
"We do what we can to improve people's health and
the health-delivery system. At the same time we're
trying to keep costs down," he said.
Washtenaw County Public Health Department
Director John Atwater said CHPC-SEM "has not
been very involved in or responsive to public health ,
issues-they've spent most of their time with medical
and institutional care issues," namely, bed reduction
and service duplication.
Atwater said the phase-out will be a "reduction in
inefficiency," adding that comprehensive health care
planning has long been carried on by hospitals and
government officials in the area.
THE AIM OF the Reagan phase-out is to make the
medical care market more competitive, said Sch-
midt. "I think the cost of health care will go up as a
result. There's too many examples thatit o pcom-
petitive market) doesn't work in health care," he
Arlene Howe, chairperson of the local board of CH-
PC-SEM, said, "I don't think anybody knows what a
competitive model in health care really would be. Is
it putting a CAT scanner in every hospital? It would
be chaotic if all hospitals are asking for the same
But, Howe said, "I do think there's over-
regulation." The federal government and the agen-
cies have been "more interested in process than in
results," she said. "It has strangled, health care
planning. I think it can be streamlined."
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