News

Judicial opinion details cutthroat world of Certificate of Need

The purpose of the certificate-of-need law, according to the state health department, is to restrict “unnecessary cost increases” and “limit unnecessary services” in health care across the state. But it may do the opposite, limiting access and stifling competition. The law prohibits health care providers from acquiring, replacing, or adding to their facilities and equipment,...

Jeff Moore
News

Senate advances trio of health care bills aimed at reducing costs, increasing transparency 

The Senate is close to approving a trio of health care bills aimed at reducing costs and increasing transparency in the system. The bills would help curb surprise billing and ease restrictive laws that prevent health care companies from increasing supply. But they fall short of more substantial changes some policy experts have pushed. “Health...

Andrew Dunn
News

Legislation would ease health care red tape, boost access to care

Legislation introduced in this session of the General Assembly seeks to reduce restrictions created by certificate of need laws, which critics say reduce access to health care and increase costs. Bills in the General Assembly have been filed with the intention of doing everything from making minor changes to complete repeal. Certificate of need laws...

Johnny Kampis
News

Scandal and corruption: A history of Certificate of Need laws 

Certificate of Need laws have ruined governors and exiled the wealthy and the powerful to federal prison. Millions of dollars have changed hands, and more than a few political campaigns have been fueled by corruption in the CON system.   CON laws are the reason hundreds of cardiac patients couldn’t get care in Maui, forcing doctors to fly critical patients to Honolulu....

Julie Havlak

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Certificate of Need CON: A tangled web of bureaucracy, clout, and backroom deals

A coal miners’ son. A powerful attorney. A defeated surgeon. Two college sweethearts.   All of them became caught up in a powerful system known as Certificate of Need. Certificate of Need laws give the state control of medical resources. Twenty-five people, an advisory board appointed by the governor, oversee the supply of hospital beds, medical equipment, and...

Julie Havlak
News

CON laws ‘holding back North Carolinians,’ health policy expert says

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include a clarification from NC Blue Cross & Blue Shield.  Dr. Bruce Schroeder couldn’t give the best treatment to women with breast cancer. State regulations blocked him from buying up-to-date mammogram machines.  Under certificate-of-need laws, Schroeder had to get state permission before buying the machines. Schroeder couldn’t...

Julie Havlak
News

Governor’s health-care panel’s recommendations unlikely to spur legislative reform in 2021

The governor’s health-care panel recently released a set of guiding principles for medical management in the state. While legislative leadership agrees that something needs to be done to improve access to health-care coverage, Democrats and Republicans remain entrenched in their opposing positions on how to accomplish that. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper created the N.C. Council...

Johnny Kampis
News

Senate committee looks to extend health care flexibility after COVID-19 emergency ends

A Senate committee passed protection for direct primary care providers and discussed regulatory reforms to prepare hospitals and other health care workers for the second wave of the coronavirus. The Senate Health Care Committee on Thursday, May 28, unanimously passed House Bill 471 to help direct primary care doctors — doctors who take monthly cash...

Julie Havlak
News

COVID-19 has forced many changes; can government continue to change with them?

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many questions with precious few answers.  It’s tough to debate otherwise.  A dearth of data, beyond the numbers of confirmed cases and deaths, allowing people to make reasonable decisions about their safety — and returning to some sense of normalcy — is clearly problematic. It’s just one aspect as a...

CJ Staff