Home Healthcare group comments on Joint Working Group on Certificate of Public Need Reform

Healthcare group comments on Joint Working Group on Certificate of Public Need Reform


healthcareThe Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association offered comment on the announcement that the Virginia General Assembly has created a Joint Working Group on Certificate of Public Need Reform.

“The formation of a House of Delegates and Virginia Senate Joint Working Group on Certificate of Public Need Reform is a welcome development signaling a legislative commitment of time and energy to evaluate a complex policy issue that is an integral part of Virginia’s health care delivery system.

“The Commonwealth’s Certificate of Public Need (COPN) law has served its purpose to promote health care access, help control costs, and support charity care. The forthcoming Working Group process follows a COPN review conducted in 2015 by a Virginia General Assembly-established Work Group. After months of public hearings, the multi-stakeholder panel recommended meaningful reforms to modernize and preserve Virginia’s COPN system as the prudent course. Previous legislative reviews of COPN have similarly concluded that such policy reforms should not be done in isolation, but rather as part of a comprehensive package that addresses the financial impact of charity care, payment shortfalls, and medical education costs borne by hospitals and patients.

“VHHA supports reform efforts that factor in these key considerations. Efforts to partially or fully repeal COPN without addressing interconnected health care access issues threaten Virginia’s health care system, including its presence in vulnerable rural areas and the ability to serve Virginians in those communities. Such efforts also pose economic risks to the Commonwealth without necessarily improving affordability, access, or health care quality. Already, Virginia has lower per capita health care costs than many states without certificate of need laws. With the commencement of Joint Working Group activities, VHHA stands ready to lend support as the study committee explores this important issue.”



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