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Legislature Passes Certificate of Need Reform

May 5, 2021 by AFP

NASHVILLE, TN – Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee (AFP-TN) today commended the Senate for passing SB 1281, which streamlines the current certificate of need (CON) process for health providers. The bill now heads to Governor Lee’s desk. The House passed the companion version, HB 948, yesterday.

AFP-TN has been at the forefront of advocating for health care reforms. Last year, the grassroots group ran a robust ad and mail campaign in support of certificate of need and telemedicine reforms.

AFP-TN Deputy State Director James Amundsen issued the following statement:

“The Tennessee Legislature should be commended for taking another important step to lift protectionist restrictions that limit access to quality, affordable health care. Although there is still much more work to be done to end the CON outright, it cannot be overlooked that this bill greatly streamlines the current process, eliminates several protectionist aspects for incumbent providers, and creates greater access to certain health services in Tennessee.

“Most importantly, the eventual merger of the CON and licensure responsibilities into a single agency signals that our state is committed to helping Tennesseans get the care when and where they need it. We urge Governor Lee to sign this bill without delay.”


Since the 1990s, the state’s certificate of need laws has prevented over 100 hospitals and ambulatory services from opening.