Despite CON laws being in place in most states, not everyone agrees with their effectiveness. Supporters of the certificate of need framework argue that it helps to prevent unnecessary spending on healthcare infrastructure and services and that it can help states direct such infrastructure toward underserved regions.
On the other hand, critics argue that the CON framework protects the interests of established facilities. Many believe that by allowing political influence to decide which facilities can be built, the CON system invites corruption, manipulation, and abuse. Additionally, some opponents also argue that CONs have little impact on controlling healthcare costs, improving quality, or ensuring access to healthcare services for patients, and may do more harm than good in those areas.
Why are certificates of need (CONs) important in healthcare?
Certificates of need are important because they allow state governments to regulate changes that may impact or potentially increase healthcare spending.
The primary goal of these certificates is to ultimately reduce unnecessary healthcare costs by restricting duplicate healthcare services and assessing whether a new facility or service aligns with the needs of the community.