Skip Navigation

The “Certificate of Need” Health Care Monopoly (Guest: Dr. Gajendra Singh)

August 15, 2018

Do “certificate of need” laws allow hospitals to operate under monopolistic principles, keeping costs of health care services high? Dr. Gajendra Singh is suing the state of North Carolina to prove these laws do just that.

"Certificate of need" (CON) laws allow the regulatory bureaucracy in a state to determine which areas are in need of certain health care tools such as MRI machines. Hospitals and practitioners must apply for “certificate of need” and are often turned down because another practice or hospital already has the tool in question. Dr. Singh, realizing the cost of MRIs was prohibitively expensive, wanted to buy a machine and make it available at a lower cost but ran into North Carolina's CON law and was prevented from offering the service. He and the Institute of Justice are now suing the state saying the CON law violates the NC constitution banning monopolies. Singh talks to Heartland about his lawsuit and how he wants to make health care more affordable in his state.

Article Tags
Health Care
Sarah Lee is a policy advisor for health care and a host of Heartland's Health Care News podcast.