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On today’s Health Care News Podcast, Tennessee state Rep. Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) joined Health Care News Managing Editor Michael Hamilton to explain why reforming Tennessee’s certificate of need (CON) laws will go far to improve health care quality, lower costs, and increase access for patients.
Currently hospitals and other health care providers must obtain a special certificate from a state board in order to add even a single bed, much less develop a new wing to accommodate more patients. Current law has removed incentives for existing providers to innovate, make improvements to services, and upgrade their equipment, by shutting potential competitors out of the market. A CON application fee (nonrefundable) alone can cost $45,000. The state’s CON law places rural communities at a medical disadvantage by effectively making it easier for providers in counties with more than 200,000 people to acquire MRI machines than providers in less populous counties.
House Bill 1730 will undergo committee markup this week and (Sexton hopes) head to the House floor for a favorable vote in the next two to three weeks. Read“Tennessee Lawmakers Pursue CON Reform” for the full story.