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Eliminate Certificates of Need to Expand Care Access

Eliminate Certificates of Need to Expand Care Access

The LIBRE Initiative believes that individuals should be able to have the tools they need to pursue their version of the American dream. A fundamental part of that pursuit is having a fulfilling and healthy life, but nearly 40 percent of Hispanics says it is challenging to find affordable care and over 20 percent say it is challenging to get to a health care location. The Hispanic community faces a health care access barriers at times being physically far from a health care center or care being cost prohibitive.

Allowing patient needs to drive access and encourage competition could address both of these issues.  Rather than eliminating barriers to access and making policy decisions that lower costs many states have legislation, known as certificate of need (CON)laws that create shortages, inferior patient outcomes, and higher patient spending.

CON laws were established in 1974 by Congress as a perquisite to receiving federal funds. These laws require that care providers receive approval from the state before expanding services or equipment. In some cases, this has led to denying care providers additional hospital beds, halting the development of psychiatric care units, and impeding the construction of hospitals in high-demand areas.

While the federal mandate was lifted in 1987, and over a dozen states have taken steps to repeal these laws, many CON laws remain costing billions in health care investments nationwide.

In order to deliver high quality, accessible, and affordable care to all Americans we need to remove the outdated and harmful Certificate of Need laws that continue to stifle competition, increase costs, and harm patients in need of accessible care.