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Cardinal Institute Pleads with Governor to Reduce Barriers to Health Professionals in Time of Medical Crisis By Suspending Certificate of Need Laws

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

March 25, 2020

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Amanda Kieffer, Communications Associate at the Cardinal Institute for WV Policy

PHONE: (304) 541-9551 |  EMAIL: [email protected]

 

Cardinal Institute Pleads with Governor to Reduce Barriers to Health Professionals in Time of Medical Crisis By Suspending Certificate of Need Laws

Charleston, W.Va. – In the face of the unprecedented challenges facing West Virginians, the Cardinal Institute for WV Policy has sent a letter to Governor Justice urging for the immediate and indefinite suspension of all Certificate of Need (CON) laws and processes. While West Virginia is fortunate that it has not yet experienced a surge in patients, our healthcare system is already woefully under prepared to meet even the normal needs of West Virginia’s citizens let alone meet the additional needs medical professionals anticipate as the novel coronavirus continues to spread.

CON laws require that healthcare providers obtain permission from the government before they expand, acquire new facilities, build, or begin to offer any new services. These laws limit access to healthcare services, especially for the poor and those living in rural areas. Of the 35 states and Washington, D.C. which still have CON laws, West Virginia has the 6th highest CON law burdens with 21 separate CON laws restricting healthcare access.

According to a study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, CON laws have resulted in a potential of 2,424 fewer hospital beds, 7 fewer hospitals offering MRI scans, and between 13 – 16 fewer hospitals capable of offering CT scans in West Virginia.

“The certificate-of-need (CON) laws are economically dubious in the best of times and have no logical basis when facing a crisis of the scope and scale of COVID-19,” said Garrett Ballengee, Executive Director of the Cardinal Institute for WV Policy. “When facing a crisis of this magnitude, it’s imperative for the Governor to use the tools at his disposal to ensure a rapid response is possible on the part of the healthcare community and a suspension of CON laws ensures that.”

To schedule an interview: contact Amanda Kieffer at 304-541-9551 or [email protected]

About the Cardinal Institute for WV Policy

Located in Charleston, the Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy, Inc. is a 501c(3) non-profit founded in 2014 to research, develop, and communicate effective free market public policies for West Virginia.