House, Senate announce Joint Working Group on Certificate of Public Need Reform

virginia general assemblyHouse Speaker Bill Howell (R-Stafford) and Senate President Pro-Tempore Stephen D. Newman (R-Bedford) today announced the creation of the Joint Working Group on Certificate of Public Need Reform.

The working group will include Delegate Robert D. Orrock, Sr. (R-Caroline), Chairman of the House Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions, and Delegates John M. O’Bannon, III (R-Henrico), Kathy J. Byron (R-Bedford), T. Scott Garrett (R-Lynchburg), and Christopher P. Stolle (R-Virginia Beach).  Senator Newman and Senators Siobhan S. Dunnavant (R-Henrico), David R. Suetterlein (R-Roanoke), George L. Barker (D-Fairfax), and L. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) will also serve on the working group.

“The time has come to reform Virginia’s outdated COPN laws,” said Speaker Howell. “For nearly 40 years, Virginia’s COPN laws have stifled innovation, limited competition, unnecessarily raised costs, and limited access to quality healthcare. The House of Delegates advanced an innovative COPN reform proposal last year. We are committed to continuing that effort. This working group will give legislators the opportunity to work directly with individual healthcare providers who are willing to engage productively on reforms. I look forward to reviewing the legislative proposals presented by the working group as we prepare for the 2017 General Assembly session.”

“Virginia’s healthcare suffers because our COPN laws limit consumer choice and stifle innovation,” said Senator Newman. “Removing the COPN barrier will create competition that will improve access to care and control costs. These benefits are why a broad coalition of advocacy groups from across the Commonwealth support COPN reform. The Senate is committed to helping our community hospitals through this process while ensuring patients, nurses, and doctors have free market choices in their healthcare and employment.  Over the coming months, we will begin listening and hearing from the various stakeholders in order to further refine reform legislation that can ultimately pass the General Assembly.”

Virginia is one of 36 states with certificate of public need laws. Currently, Virginia regulates 19 different aspects of healthcare, including general acute care services, diagnostic imaging, ambulatory surgical centers, capital expenditures, and facilities construction.



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