North Carolina judge says certificate of need law 'monopolistic' despite lawsuit dismissal

The North Carolina Court of Appeals unanimously dismissed a surgeon's challenge to the state's certificate of need laws, The Carolina Journal reported June 21.

The judges determined that eye surgeon Jay Singleton, MD, had failed to make a case that the law violated his constitutional rights, the report said. In particular, they cited the fact that Dr. Singleton hadn't actually filed for a certificate of need.

Despite the dismissal, Judge John Tyson's majority opinion mentioned problems with the law, the report said.

"While counsel for defendants clearly and correctly admitted the CON statutes are restrictive, anti-competitive, and create monopolistic policies and powers to the holder, and plaintiffs correctly assert the CON process is costly and fraught with gross delays, and service needs are not kept current, those challenges can also be asserted before the General Assembly, Commissions, and against the agency where a factual record can be built," Mr. Tyson wrote.

"At least 12 sister states, including New Hampshire, California, Utah, Pennsylvania and Texas, have re-examined the anti-competitive, monopolistic and bureaucratic burdens of their CON statutes' healthcare allocations, and the scarcity created by and delays inherit [sic] in that system, and have abolished the entire CON system within their states."


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