Montana Surgery Center CON Bill Dies in House Vote
The Montana House Human Services Committee has voted to kill House Bill 306, which would have required a stricter review process for organizations to build ambulatory surgery centers in the state, according to a Billings Gazette report.
HB 306 specifically would have required an organization to apply for a certificate of need and conduct an impact study to find the ramifications of the proposed ASC on existing healthcare facilities, such as critical access hospitals, in a county with 50,000 people or less. Currently, a CON is required in counties with 20,000 people or less.
Montana Republicans killed the measure without discussion, a move that upset state Democrats who believed debate was necessary and "what the public deserves," according to the report.
CAHs, such as Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Polson, Mont., supported the bill, but larger health systems, such as Kalispell (Mont.) Regional Healthcare, opposed the bill, saying competition is necessary to lower prices.
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