Senate Bill 2004, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Blackwell, holds any party that contests a Certificate of Need, or CON, application liable for the legal costs of the applicant should their contest fail, and the CON be approved.

Essentially, this disincentivizes interested parties from attempting to have a CON denied, ultimately allowing more of these applications to be successful and lowering the cost burden for those wishing to provide healthcare solutions in Mississippi.

CON laws originated from federal legislation that was fully repealed in 1986. Thirty-five states, including Mississippi, still have CON laws in state legislation.

Many states issue moratoria on specific medical facilities, practices, and materials through CON laws. Mississippi’s CON law requires health care providers to seek approval from the state Department of Health to build a new facility, add beds or diagnostic equipment to an existing facility, or any other capital-related project. The regulated areas include:hospital and nursing home beds,Inpatient psychiatric beds for children, beds in chemical dependency centers, and home health services.

CON laws inevitably grant monopolies to existing medical providers with facilities already in an area and only stifle the ability of new facilities to open up. This often eliminates the possibility of competition in the medical industry between providers, keeping costs up, and quality of service down.   

While the overall goal should be full repeal of CON laws, this is a step in the right direction. 

MCPP has reviewed this legislation and finds that it is aligned with our principles and therefore should be supported. 

Read the bill here.

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