For Immediate Release Connecticut Department of Public Health
October 8, 2010 Contact: William Gerrish
Hartford – A new state law reforms the Certificate of Need (CON) process for hospitals and other health care facilities to be more responsive to the future changes in the health care delivery system, according to state health officials.
“This new law allows the state to be more responsive to anticipated changes at the federal level,” said Department of Public Health Deputy Commissioner Norma Gyle. “By streamlining the CON process, and aligning it with the changes as a result of federal health care reform, we hope to encourage health care that focuses around who matters the most: the patient.”
Health officials said federal reform is moving health care from a volume-driven system to a value-driven system. Under current law, Connecticut’s CON process focuses on criteria that are out of sync with federal reform, requiring “need” to be demonstrated for nearly all new services, sites and equipment, as well as projections of volumes that result in a financially feasible project plan. The new law provides principles that will support and strengthen the quality of health care services in an integrated system approach.
The new CON law is expected to significantly reduce the number of applications submitted for state approval due to changes in CON requirements, such as the elimination of all capital expenditure thresholds and authorization to add or terminate services. Significant changes will also occur within the application process itself to simplify, streamline and improve the CON process. These changes will allow the department to concentrate on planning for the future health care needs of the state and identifying gaps in access to health care services.
“The timing was perfect to update the CON law,” said Gyle, who oversees the department’s Office of Health Care Access which handles CON applications. “The future delivery of health care must become more integrated, able to accept the nearly 300,000 newly insured people in Connecticut in 2014, and be more cost-effective and efficient to respond to health care reform.”
The reform was part of Senate Bill 494, Section 86 and became effective October 1, 2010. For more information on the Certificate of Need process, please visit the Department of Public Health Office of Health Care Access website at www.ct.gov/ohca or call (860) 418-7029.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.