US Court of Appeals upholds Iowa certificate-of-need law

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit ruled Iowa's certificate-of-need law did not violate the 14th Amendment, upholding a lower court's opinion, Jurist reports.

What you should know:

1. Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based Fox Eye Laser & Cosmetic Institute sued after being denied a CON to perform outpatient surgery. The eye practice claimed the denial violated the 14th Amendment on the grounds that hospitals could object to the CON and infringe on the eye center's personal business.

2. The court pointed to the fact that hospitals need CONs as well.

3. In addition to the ruling, the court supported Iowa's right to limit the number of CONs it awards to outpatient surgery facilities in an effort to protect full-service hospitals especially in rural areas. That surgery centers endanger the economic viability of hospitals is a commonly refuted argument, according to the conservative-leaning Center of the American Experiement.

4. Iowa's certificate-of-need system is unique because it allows a CON-holder the rights to expand in any way without a new certificate, as long as the project is under $1.5 million in a single year.

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