by Katherine Restrepo
Director of Health Care Policy, John Locke Foundation
CON is a regulation that limits health care supply unless a specific “need” is determined by state bureaucrats. If medical providers have plans to build a new health care facility or expand an existing one, offer new services, or update major medical equipment, they must first ask permission from “The SHCC” (the State Health Coordinating Council) and then their competitors.
What the healthcare industry needs is a strong dose of disruptive innovation — relaxing regulations that will increase provider competition, force downward pressure on costs, and enhance patient choice. CON ultimately picks who gets to compete within the health care sector. Reforming the law will by no means untangle the complexities of health care, but state lawmakers should capitalize on an opportunity to make one of the most highly regulated industries a little less heavy on the red tape and a little more patient friendly.