COVID-19 has profoundly affected the health care landscape, raising anew concerns about the high cost of hospitalizations while simultaneously placing new burdens on those facilities and curtailing non-emergency services. Providers, unable to see patients for routine care, lost revenue and many free-standing physician practices are now at risk, and now face increasing pressure to merge with large health systems to survive.
As states respond to the need for increased hospital bed capacity due to COVID-19, governors and legislatures in 22 states have waived certificate-of-need (CON) requirements – streamlining the process for hospitals to add bed capacity. These waivers have focused attention on decades-old CON laws and their utility in a changing health care landscape. The National Academy for State Health Policy’s (NASHP) 50-state scan of CON laws shows which facilities are subject to CON, the range of activities that trigger a CON review, and the information considered during review.