Governor signs Shirkey bill aiding local hospital’s transition

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday signed legislation sponsored by Sen. Mike Shirkey that will ease a Coldwater hospital’s upcoming merger.

Senate Bill 450, now Public Act 148 of 2017, will enable the Community Health Center (CHC) of Branch County to become a nonprofit entity and make the transition to ProMedica Health Systems more seamless.

“Bureaucracy had threatened to make a mess of what should be a smooth transition,” said Shirkey, R-Clarklake. “Now the CHC is free to merge with ProMedica and continue to provide its patients with quality care.”

Shirkey said that if nothing had been done, the CHC would have become a new entity under the transaction. This would have required the hospital once again to take the many steps necessary to continue operation, such as re-acquiring all of their licenses, filing a new certificate of need with the state, and enrolling with Medicare and Medicaid and other insurers as a new provider.