Health
4:00 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Study: Too many Michigan hospital beds driving up consumer costs

Credit Grafixar / MorgueFile

A surplus of hospital beds in Michigan could be pushing up medical costs. 

Paul Delamater  is a research specialist at Michigan State University's Department of Geography.

He says Michigan already has about 7,000 more hospital beds than it needs -- especially in urban areas.

"I found that the availability of beds themselves actually caused utilization to rise," Delamater says. "If a new hospital is built, there's pressure to get people into those beds regardless of the medical-based need for putting them in that hospital bed."

Meanwhile, McClaren Health System is appealing the state's denial to build a new hospital in Clarkston.

The Certificate of Need Program run by the Michigan Department of Community Health says there are adequate hospital facilities in nearby Pontiac.

The Michigan Health and Hospital Association says it hasn't reviewed the MSU study and has no comment.