(CONCORD) The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy today published an in-depth report on Certificate of Need Boards, finding that the government panels have had no success in restraining health care costs over the past 40 years. "Irrational: Do Certificate of Need laws reduce costs or hurt patients?" reports that state rationing of medical facillities does not meet its original goal of improving efficiency, but does serve as a barrier protecting existing health care providers.
"In New Hampshire, the Health Services Planning Review Board serves as an unnecessary bureaucratic hurdle to new entrants to the health care market. It has done nothing to address shortages in New Hampshire’s health care infrastructure, and there is no evidence that it has lowered costs for New Hampshire patients," concludes Grant Bosse, who authored the report. "Lawmakers should repeal New Hampshire’s Certificate of Need Law."
Since 1979, New Hampshire has forced health care providers to ask a state panel for permission to build or expand medical facilties or make large medical equipment purchases. "Irrational" cites state decisions from Kentucky to Hawaii that limited hospital access. One New York hospital took ten years to receive permission for an MRI machine. A Connecticut hospital had to wait an entire year just to upgrade its phone system. Bosse represented the report to the House Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs Committee, which held a public hearing on HB 1617 repealing New Hampshire's Certificate of Need Law.
"I wish central planning worked. But it doesn't," Bosse added. "The evidence shows us that for forty years, CONs have done nothing to control health care costs. And if you have no impact, you're useless. And if you're useless, you should be repealed."
Read the entire report online at http://www.jbartlett.org/irrational. This report is free for use with attribution to the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, New Hampshire's free market think-tank.