Michigan’s Certificate of Need Commission last week voted unanimously to change one of its CON rules to require that a group of regional hospitals work together on a controversial new proposal to build a high-tech cancer treatment center in Oakland County.

The state’s decision came after Oakland-based William Beaumont Hospitals lobbied for approval to build a new proton-beam cancer therapy center on its Royal Oak campus, as well as a new medical school at Oakland University. Beaumont has said it would partner with an Indiana-based for-profit group to build the center, but critics said the plan would set off what one hospital official called an “arms race” among hospitals for the expensive new technology.

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