GA may approve sweeping CON changes

Georgia seems well on its way to approving a new bill that would remove most of the state's Certificate of Need restrictions. The state House of Representatives is considering a measure, championed by a few legislators, which would help general surgeons open ambulatory surgery centers. It also would let hospitals build parking decks and other non-clinical projects without state permission and lift obstetrics restrictions on some hospitals, as well as allowing more hospitals to perform heart procedures like diagnostic catheterizations. If passed, the bill would institute the biggest changes in the CON system since it was enacted more than 25 years ago.

Despite gifts to the hospital industry, some hospital officials remain in opposition. They're uncomfortable with a few facets of the bill, particularly the ambulatory surgery changes. Their lobbyists argue that the bill would give the ASCs an unfair advantage. Other hospital groups, including rural hospitals, are in favor of its passage.

To learn more about the CON changes:
- read this Atlanta Journal-Constitution piece

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