Certificate of Need reform in the North Carolina General Assembly saw some movement last night. House Bill 126, which was rewritten to include CON reform, passed out of the Senate Health Committee and was sent to the Rules Committee. The NC Senate is likely to pass this bill and send it back to the house. 

Several attempts at CON reform have been attempted in this session. HB 126 is a watered-down version of a full repeal of the laws but would be a step in the right direction if passed. 

HB126 would:

  • Remove psychiatric facilities, chemical dependency treatment facilities (18 months after the bill becomes law), allow for ambulatory surgery centers to become multi-specialty centers without a CON (also 18 months after the bill becomes law), and remove the requirement for dialysis centers to need a CON for a county with more than 300,000 people (three years after the bill becomes law). 
  • Limit the amount of time an entity who possesses a CON can wait until starting to begin construction on the new project 
  • Raise the cost threshold for diagnostic equipment to need a CON 

Of course, at the John Locke Foundation, we are advocates for a complete repeal of this central planning system which places higher importance on government models rather than private needs.