Q&A – Impact Of Florida's 'Certificate Of Need Law' On Healthcare

Today’s entry - Hello Brian! What’s the name of the Bill you mentioned regarding the health facility changes? My mom owns an ALF, I’m wondering if those will be affected in any way.

Bottom Line: This is about Florida’s “Certificate of Need”, or CON, law. Florida has operated with CON regulations since 1973. They’ve been tweaked multiple times over the years. I say this to illustrate that the rules and regulations are complicated. For ease of conversation, there are state-imposed restrictions on ownership of hospitals, nursing homes, and hospices. The net effect is that we have fewer hospitals, nursing homes and hospices in our state than we would have without these limitations. Additionally, it's the lower populated areas of the state that are most negatively impacted by the ownership restrictions. Proposed legislation that stands a good chance of passing this year would mostly repeal these limitations starting in July of 2021. 

What would this mean to Floridians? The 15 states without CON laws have lower average healthcare costs than Florida. It’s not complicated. More hospitals and healthcare facilities mean more competition and lower prices. According to a recent study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, the projected impact for Floridians if we eliminate the CON regulations are these:

  • $235 saved annually per Floridian 
  • 43% increase in medical facilities in rural communities
  • 104 additional medical facilities statewide

Greater access, lower prices, and more convenience. Just kind of makes sense, right? Let’s hope sense wins out in the state session on this issue. 

Submit your questions by one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

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Photo by: John Moore/Getty Images

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