Medical certificate-of-need laws have little to do with actual need
Prospective healthcare providers need state permission before they can build new hospitals or offer other services in Hawaii
from Grassroot Institute, Nov 24, 2023
Hawaii has a healthcare shortage, but silly you if you thought medical investors can just go ahead and build a new hospital or dialysis center — or even add more hospital beds.
As Grassroot President Keli‘i Akina pointed out in the latest edition of Hawaii Filipino Chronicle, it is actually officials at the Hawaii Health Planning and Development Agency who have the final say on whether there is a "need" for a new healthcare facility or service.
Akina said the legal basis for that power is Hawaii's “certificate of need” or CON laws. CON laws, he said, "are a relic of a different time when states worried about the potential negative impacts of duplicating healthcare services in an area."
But what is “duplication” when it comes to healthcare services?
Akina quoted Matthew Mitchell, a recent guest on his “Hawaii Together” program on ThinkTech Hawaii, who said duplication “is what economists — and, frankly, what normal people, I think, everywhere — call competition. So [CON laws are] essentially mandating that there not be any sort of competitive provision of healthcare.”
Mitchell, a senior research fellow at the Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation at West Virginia University, also said more than 400 tests have assessed how CON laws affect access, cost and quality of care, “and it’s really extraordinary in terms of how overwhelming the evidence is” that CON laws reduce healthcare access and quality.
If you would like to read the entire article, go here.
FC: Reform CON Laws To Increase Hawaii Healthcare Access