Fight to repeal North Carolina's CON marches on — 5 insights on the state with one of the most restrictive CON laws

To repeal North Carolina's controversial certificate-of-need legislation, Sen. Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell) added a CON repeal proposal to House Bill 161, "An Act Adopting the Bobcat as the Official State Cat of the State of North Carolina," according to The Heartland Institute.

Here are five insights:

1. The state legislator ended its session on July 1 without approving the bill featuring the CON repeal.

2. Katherine Restrepo, a health and human services policy analyst at the John Locke Foundation, argued the state's CON law for ambulatory surgery centers has costly repercussions for patients and insurers. The CON law poses challenges for patients to obtain cost-effective, convenient healthcare services.

3. To illustrate her point, Ms. Restrepo said surgeons perform 70 percent of outpatient surgeries in a full-hospital setting in the state, which cost patients and the healthcare system between 40 percent and 65 percent more than performing those procedures in ASCs.

4. Thomas Stratmann, PhD, an economics professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., said repealing the CON laws would give patients more treatment options, thereby improving quality of care. He said, "We would observe higher quality care, because with repeal, and subsequent entry—more medical providers offering services—there will be more competition among these providers."

5. Dr. Stratmann conducted a study finding North Carolina's CON laws are the fourth-most restrictive in the Untied States.

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