Repeal Certificate of Need so patients have better access to health care

Carolina Journal – Patients deserve better access to both life-saving and life-preserving health-care treatments. Which means physicians, hospitals, and other health care facilities should be able to invest in their communities to address unmet patient demand for critical services such as kidney dialysis units, cost-effective surgery, neonatal intensive care units, nursing homes, and much, much, more. Unfortunately, providers in North Carolina and 35 other states can’t embark on any plans to expand patient care unless the state has determined for itself that there is a “need.” And even if the state does grant a certificate of need (CON) to a winning applicant, competitors can step in to delay any capital projects from moving forward.

Wednesday’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal explains:

In Cartersville, Ga., two highly regarded obstetricians, Hugo Ribot and Malcolm Barfield, hoped to add a second room to their one-room surgery center. But the plan hit a snag. They needed to obtain a “certificate of need” from Georgia’s Department of Community Health. Three large hospitals in the area — which provide similar services at far higher cost — blocked their application. Dr. Ribot and Dr. Barfield are now suing the state for restraint of trade.

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