Certificate of Need

What is a Certificate of Need?

A certificate of need, or CON, is a legal document that is required for the construction of a new healthcare facility.  It regulates the healthcare system by requiring approval from regional governments.  However, there are variations within the 35 states and Washington D.C. that need them.

What Do They Provide? 

Those in favor of the CON requirement argue a few points for its need in the process.  One argument is that it helps with directing healthcare infrastructure to areas of need or that are underserved.  It is also viewed as a way that eliminates unnecessary spending on healthcare infrastructure and services.  As with any issue, there will be counter opinions.  The groups that oppose CONs believe that they impose a barrier to entry for healthcare businesses.  They also believe it can eliminate competition for established healthcare businesses or facilities. There is concern that political influence plays too much of a factor in deciding these businesses’ fate and it invites abuse of power into the equation.

What are the Laws

Each state that has CON regulation policies in place will define its own rules. Interested development groups looking to build a healthcare business would do research to evaluate and identify the need for an area. They will then will have to address their local laws to obtain approval.  This means facing varying rules in each of the states where they may want to proceed.  This can be a significant undertaking should they want to build out a nationwide program.  This guide can provide you with details on your state’s legislation regarding a CON program.

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