Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia currently impose certificate-of-need (CON) restrictions on the provision of healthcare. These rules require providers to first seek permission before they may open or expand their practices or purchase certain devices or new technologies. The applicant must prove that the community “needs” the new or expanded service, and existing providers are invited to challenge a would-be competitor’s application.
…from a Mercatus article on healthcare “Certificates of Need”, linked by The Advice Goddess.
In most other industries, collusion of providers in order to keep supply down–and, hence, prices up–is considered an antitrust violation and can carry heavy civil and criminal penalties.
Does anyone see any legitimate public-policy rationale for the requirement for the CONs in healthcare?