OHS: Certificate of Need Guide Will Make the Regulatory Process More Transparent and Easier to Understand
(HARTFORD, CT) – Today, the Office of Health Strategy released a guidebook to help consumers and healthcare providers better understand the Certificate of Need (CON) process—the state’s regulatory mechanism governing health system mergers and acquisitions; major investments in new equipment or facilities; and changes in healthcare access such as adding or terminating a health service.
OHS Executive Director Vicki Veltri said, “The Certificate of Need process is one way we build a healthcare landscape that benefits residents and balances the availability of and access to medical services across the state. Balance and good data are essential—the types of providers, diagnostic equipment, and other health services must be high-quality and meet the needs of the community, not oversaturate the market and cause costs to rise. Changes in the state and federal health laws, emerging technologies, and population changes also impact Connecticut’s health needs. CON decision-making takes all of these factors into account and is directly informed by residents in the community. I encourage all residents to be part of building healthcare in their communities and hope this guide will help them better understand the entire process.”
Currently operational in 36 states and Washington, D.C., Certificate of Need programs mandate that providers file an application prior to making substantial changes in their health services or operations. In Connecticut, major investment in new equipment or facilities; mergers and acquisitions; and adding, discontinuing, or changing access to a medical service all fall under the statutory purview of CON. Several laws govern CON:
- Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §19a-612d requires the Office of Health Strategy’s Health Systems Planning Unit to administer the program;
- C.G.S. § 19a-638 governs the types of transactions that fall under CON; and
- C.G.S. § 19a-639 mandates OHS monitor the impact of these transactions on the communities.
The guide is available on the OHS Certificate of Need webpage. That section also has comprehensive information referred to in the guide—documents are available in real time in the CON portal; a public hearing section houses information, hearing transcripts, and video; and contact information ensures that residents can get their questions answered. Residents may also subscribe to the Office of Health Strategy newsletter to get CON updates and other healthcare-related news.