by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
From the Raleigh News & Observer comes another example of how a state requirement called “Certificate of Need” limits competition and access to care.
WakeMed’s $60 million plan to expand its Cary hospital could stall or never happen if crosstown rival UNC Rex Healthcare has its way.
Rex contends that WakeMed Health & Hospitals is not serious about expanding but instead is trying to abuse the system to hurt competition. WakeMed’s Cary expansion would likely have a lasting financial impact on Rex, which plans to open a 50-bed hospital in Holly Springs, 10 miles from WakeMed Cary.
In advance of a Dec. 14 public hearing, Rex is asking the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services to reject WakeMed’s proposal to add two floors and 52 hospital beds in Cary.
“WakeMed’s currently proposed project to develop additional acute care capacity should be viewed skeptically,” Rex said in its written comments to the state. “UNC Rex believes there are several issues with WakeMed’s application that indicate that the proposed project is not needed.”
Other states have repealed their Certificate-Of-Need laws. North Carolina should do the same.