A certificate of need (CON) is a legal document that all hospitals and other healthcare providers must submit to their state regulatory agency before making proposed changes to any new or existing facility.
These proposed changes can include any of the following scenarios:
- Constructing any new healthcare facility
- Renovating an existing healthcare facility
- Closing an existing healthcare facility
- Changing ownership of a healthcare facility
- Adding a new healthcare service, or removing an existing service, or
- Acquiring major medical equipment
As of March 2020, a total of 35 states across the U.S. still implement some type of CON law. In states where certificates of need are required for some or all of the above changes, healthcare facilities must submit their certificate for approval before proceeding with any modifications.
The lack of consistent implementation across the U.S. has caused some pushback in states where CON laws are still in place.