April, 2021

How Can Certificate-of-Need Laws Be Reformed to Improve Access to Healthcare?

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Alexander Ollerton and Christopher Koopman examine how certificate-of-need (CON) laws can be reformed to improve access to care. These laws regulate the building, expansion, and modernization of healthcare facilities and of the medical equipment available to these facilities. The original intent of CON laws was to improve access to healthcare facilities, particularly in rural areas, while also driving down healthcare costs. Ollerton and Koopman argue that CON laws instead have, in many cases, reduced access and raised costs. The authors suggest that states with these laws should follow the lead of the 14 states that have repealed their CON laws. If this proves unachievable, states should consider phasing the requirements out over time or removing them for specific types of providers, to improve access to needed care.