According to a summary of HB 198 made public Thursday, it would eliminate CON entirely, giving new health businesses free rein to pop up. Restrictions for long-term care facilities would remain in place, though. The entire bill should be made public shortly and is likely to run dozens of pages with additional details about exemptions and protections.
“The hospital community strongly opposes the elimination of the certificate of need process,” said Ethan James, the executive vice president for external affairs at the Georgia Hospital Association. “We can support a thoughtful and measured modernization of CON, but we object to repealing the entire state health planning process.”
James thanked Hatchett for supporting an increase to a program to encourage private donations to rural hospitals, which some Republicans have posited as a trade for lifting CON restrictions.
A Senate version of the CON bill is expected soon, possibly to be sponsored by state Sen. Matt Brass, a Republican from Newnan, where the private company Cancer Treatment Centers of America has a hospital.