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Certificate-Of-Need Laws: How CON Laws Affect Spending, Access, and Quality across the States

December 5, 2018

Decades of research by health economists, regulatory economists, and antitrust lawyers shows CON laws fail to achieve their expressed goals, limit supply, and undermine competition.

stethoscope and insurance docs
Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia currently impose certificate-of-need (CON) restrictions on the provision of healthcare. These rules require providers to first seek permission before they may open or expand their practices or purchase certain devices or new technologies. The applicant must prove that the community “needs” the new or expanded service, and existing providers are invited to challenge a would-be competitor’s application.
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Health Care