Georgia launches committee to address certificate of need laws: What ASCs should know

In 1986, the federal government repealed certificate-of-need laws that govern where health systems can build new facilities, including ASCs, based on demonstrated need in the area. However 34 states, including Georgia, have continued to reinforce the rules on a state level, according to a June 13 report from the Capitol Beat.

On June 13, witnesses told a Georgia Senate study committee that it's time for this state law to be reformed or scrapped altogether. 

The study committee was formed after two pieces of legislation led by state Senate Republicans fizzled out this year. One proposed bill called for exempting most rural hospitals from the law, while the other would have repealed CON entirely except for long-term care facilities. 

According to a study conducted by Thomas Stratmann, PhD, a senior research fellow and economics professor at George Mason University's Mercatus Center, if Georgia's CON laws were repealed, the state could add seven much needed rural hospitals and almost 200 ASCs. 

The study committee will hold two additional hearings on the issue in Columbus and Savannah, Ga., and will release recommendations to the full Senate by Dec. 1. 

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