Certificate Of Need Reform Has A Hearing Today

Georgia’s Certificate of Need (CON) law could receive a face lift this session as legislators debate SB 158. The bill introduced by Senator Watson has a hearing in the Senate Health & Human Services Committee this afternoon.

Georgia’s CON law is fairly restrictive. While the federal government repealed its CON law in 1986, prompting 15 states to repeal theirs, Georgia has protected our law with a vigor. While healthcare has changed, the state’s CON law has not. It’s time to modernize the law to keep up with the rapidly changing healthcare field and to create a free-market approach to healthcare.

First, let me say this: SB 158 does not eliminate CON. The legislation brings Georgia’s CON into the 21st century by lowering costs, expanding emergency care, spurring hospital investment, and attracting doctors to Georgia. It makes no sense to protect a law that discourages hospitals from investing in better facilities and new medical technologies. Georgia is a world class state; our hospitals should reflect that.

Another myth that should be dispelled is that this reform will harm rural hospitals. SB 158 removes any possibility that changes in this legislation threaten struggling rural hospitals. If a county is served by a single hospital with fewer than 100 beds, then that hospital would be protected by CON. Again, this legislation is about common sense solutions.

We’ve seen what the free-market can accomplish when people are empowered to make their own decisions. Healthcare is no exception. When people are given more options with better doctors and better facilities, we’ll see healthcare change in the patient’s favor. It’s common sense.


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SaltycrackerdavidmacFreeDuckWill KremerCharlie Recent comment authors
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I would love to argue against the entire premise of this post and the many erroneous claims herein, but then I’m reminded that my mother spent the first ten days of this year in Piedmont Newnan and of the indifferent, unnecessary, and harmful care she received during that stay, and am then further reminded that the entire system needs to be burned to the ground in the hopes that something patient centered may grow from the ashes.


Health care, particularly emergency care, is not and cannot be both a free market system and moral.
There’s no way to ensure parity of bargaining position, nor transparency of information, which is essential to a free market transaction.


Nobody competes for the business of poor folks except the rip-off artists.


So they better get on with it and decrease the surplus population, eh?


The CON process, in the opinion of some construction friends, is bureaucracy at its worst on many levels and increasing the cost by millions by building hospital room needs piecemeal, but great for them.