U.S. DoJ slams CON laws

This week, officials from the U.S. Department of Justice are expected to tell Illinois officials what they've told officials in other states--that they think CON laws are best eliminated. Both the U.S. DoJ and the Federal Trade Commission have told officials in other states, including Florida and Alaska, that such laws aren't a good idea, as they lessen consumer choice, slow innovation and weaken markets' cost-cutting abilities. They note that most CON laws were drafted as a response to a 1974 federal law, which has since repealed, which offered states incentives to establish CON regs.

CON activity is even more suspect in Illinois, where there's been questions about how it was run. The panel that administers the program, the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board, has been under scrutiny since 2004, when it was discovered that a member set up a system of kickbacks for himself in exchange for approval votes. Since then, the state's CON law has been renewed several times. Now, a task force evaluating the legislation has been asked to make a recommendation as to whether the law should be renewed.

To find out more about the CON evaluation process in IL:
- read this Modern Healthcare article (reg. req.)

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