Beaumont, Henry Ford apply to build Oxford hospitals

Breana Noble
The Detroit News
Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System wants to build a hospital in Oxford.

Two Metro Detroit health systems are seeking approval from the state of Michigan to build hospitals in Oxford.

A September biennual state review of the hospital beds in Michigan identified the village in northeast Oakland County as a "limited access area" community, which means it does not have enough beds to meet the future needs of local residents within a 30-minute driving distance. The review found the area was in need of 117 beds.

The opportunity attracted interest from Beaumont Health and the Henry Ford Health System. Both said they have filed formal applications with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. However, department spokeswoman Lynn Sutfin said only Beaumont filed an application that adhered to administrative rules by the Feb. 1 deadline.

The department accepts certificate-of-need applications on the first working day of February, June and October, Sutfin said.

"There may be another opportunity (for Henry Ford to apply)," she said, "but the Beaumont application is being reviewed."

Henry Ford spokesman David Olejarz, however, said the Detroit-based nonprofit health system will be having discussions with the state.

"Expanding our comprehensive level of services is part of our ongoing strategy to meet the needs of our growing patient base in Oakland County, as evidenced by significant investments with new facilities in Royal Oak and Bloomfield Township," he said.

"We did in fact submit a (certificate-of-need) application by the Feb. 1 deadline and are confident that the state will have strong interest in our approach to meeting the needs of the community."

Henry Ford declined to comment further.

An aerial view of Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. Beaumont Hospital is requesting state approval to build a ninth hospital in Oxford.

Beaumont proposes to build a $140 million, 117-bed hospital on a vacant lot at the southeast corner of Lapeer Road and Market Street, the Southfield-based nonprofit health system said in a news release Tuesday. Beaumont Hospital-Oxford would be the system's ninth hospital.

The proposed 225,000-square-foot facility would have five floors open to patients. The certificate-of-need standards require the hospital to have an emergency room, obstetrical services, surgical services, imaging and other services.

“When the state identified a need for health care in Oxford, we stepped up to fill the gap,” Beaumont Health CEO John Fox said in a statement. “We are always looking for ways to expand our commitment to serving our region and provide care close to where our patients live.”

Beaumont declined to comment further.

Before filing applications, both firms submitted a letter of intent with the state in January. Beaumont's original letter of intent filed Jan. 11 put the hospital cost at $163 million, though plans since have changed.

Henry Ford's letter of intent filed Jan. 24 proposed a nearly $162 million hospital with 116 beds at 1955 E. Lakeville Road. It would be called Henry Ford North Oakland Hospital.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has 150 days to either approve or deny the request. If the application is denied, the applicant can request a hearing and a final decision would be issued by the department director.

Beaumont has hospitals in Farmington Hills, Royal Oak and Troy in Oakland County. Its other hospitals are in Dearborn, Grosse Pointe, Taylor, Trenton and Wayne. Altogether, they have 3,429 beds.

Henry Ford has hospitals in West Bloomfield and Ferndale in Oakland County. Its other locations are in Clinton Township, Detroit, Mount Clemens and Wyandotte, and there are two in Jackson.

The hospitals are the latest major projects announced by the Metro Detroit health systems.

Beaumont is building outpatient campuses in Lenox Township and western Wayne County, investing in urgent care centers, opening a Dearborn psychiatric facility and expanding its Farmington Hills hospital.

Henry Ford has said it is planning at least two new outpatient medical centers and two expanded medical centers.