In December, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a report – “Reforming America’s Healthcare System Through Choice and Competition” – expressly calling upon the states to repeal their “Certificate of Need” (CON) laws. In the report, HHS indicated that the existence of such laws – which typically prevent healthcare providers from expanding their services/entering new markets absence their ability to demonstrate to state regulators that there is an unmet need for such services in the community – has been a significant cause of escalating healthcare costs.
Perhaps in response to this prodding, legislation has recently been introduced in several states that would modify their respective CON laws. In Georgia (HB 198), South Carolina (HB 3823), Virginia (HB1680) and Alaska (HB 17), for example, legislation has been proposed that would either reduce the scope of such laws or repeal them altogether. In contrast, in Indiana, legislation (S. 573) has been introduced that would create a new CON law, something that has not occurred in any state in quite some time. Additionally, while not yet introduced, Florida is also expected to consider changes to its CON laws this legislative session as well. Continue Reading