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West Virginia certificate-of-need process hampers health care

Jan 18, 2022 by AFP

“Lawmakers should work quickly to fully repeal all state certificate-of-need laws and allow our trusted medical providers to meet the needs they see in their communities, without archaic certificate-of-need barriers in the way,” Americans for Prosperity – West Virginia State Director Jason Huffman writes in the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

“Certificate-of-need laws force health care providers to get a permission slip from government proving that their community ‘needs’ a service before expanding services or capacity in their communities. This means an unelected state board can arbitrarily deny our hometown medical providers the ability to meet a need they see in their community,” writes Huffman.

In West Virginia, a state where 53 out of 55 counties do not have enough health care providers, “blocking or slowing down additional care is unacceptable.”

Further, during the pandemic, many states with certificate-of-need laws suspended the programs. In states that did not, including West Virginia, there was an additional 100 deaths per 100,000 residents, according to a study from Center Square.

As the legislature reconvenes, Huffman urges lawmakers to repeal certificate-of-need regulations that leave “patients further from the care they need and paying more for it.”

Read more about repealing CON laws in Jason Huffman’s op-ed here.