Georgia Certificate of Need Repeal Bill Died in House

Date: March 15, 2016 Last Edit: March 17, 2016

Proposal that would have overturned a state healthcare regulation will not advance this session.

Georgia Certificate of Need Repeal Bill Died in House

House Bill 1055 would have repealed Georgia’s Certificate of Need regulatory process, but the measure stalled in committee and did not reach the floor for a full House vote by Crossover Day, the last day for bills to move from one chamber to the other.

Georgia’s CON system regulates the creation and expansion of medical facilities, which hampers competition in the industry and raises healthcare costs for consumers. For example, hospitals have used the current CON process to challenge planned building projects from competing facilities. Under HB 1055, CON would have been eliminated and hospitals would be able to build new facilities wherever they want as long as they obtain a state permit first. The bill would also have introduced requirements for hospitals to serve the uninsured and Medicaid, Medicare and State Health Benefit Plan patients.

HB 1055 was sponsored by a bipartisan group of supporters: Rep. Wendell Willard, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee; Rep. Richard Smith, chair of the House Insurance Committee; Rep. Carolyn Hugley, House minority whip; and Matthew Hatchett, chair of the House Republican Caucus. And though the bill didn’t survive this session’s Crossover Day, the provisions are still relevant and important to the state healthcare discussion, so the issue is likely to be revisited.

In addition, as of December 2015, a lawsuit seeking to overturn the CON process is still alive. The suit was brought forth by two Carterville physicians after they were disallowed from letting other physicians perform surgery at the medical center they own.

Related Content: Small Business News | Georgia | Healthcare

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