Getting It Right, Responsible COPN Deregulation

Health care is one of America’s most heavily regulated fields. Government influences that defy free market principles, including federal unfunded mandates to care for emergency department patients regardless of their ability to pay and Medicaid rates that fall far short of the cost of care provided, often create barriers to sustaining essential health care services. Since its inception in 1973, Virginia’s Certificate of Public Need (COPN) program, which requires state
approval for the initiation or expansion of certain high-cost health services, has helped to mitigate these barriers. COPN helps to ensure that hospitals and
health systems can provide services that generate positive revenues, which are used to cover expenses associated with the unprofitable essential services society needs but for which there is no market incentive.

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