Georgia Senate panel calls for abolishing state permits for health facilities


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Oct 30, 2023
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A Georgia Senate committee has recommended recently that Georgia remove their permit requirements to establish & build medical care facilities. It stems from a serious debate that took place in March of 2023 during a legislative session. It's being said by the group and Rep. Lt. Gov Burt Jones that these laws were originally put in place back in 1970, called certificate of need rules, and that access to health care is being constricted due to them. The current laws state, that if you want to build a new health care facility, or offer new services, you must prove it is a needed change. At the time, these permits were meant to prevent overspending that in turn could hurt health care costs. But things have changed.

Critics have argued that these certificates don't make much sense anymore, as the gov and insurers now have more control by negotiating their prices in advance. The team believe that these certificates prevent competition and only focus on current health care facilities revenues.

The future all depends on what happens in 2024, and what the state house is willing to do. There has yet to be any reports submitted by the committee overseeing this. Some added good news, is that they also heard testimony last week in regards to possibly expanding Medicaid. Which could be a good sign for more health care benefits coming our way.

Do you think they will abolish permits as they are requesting? Or will it stick around for this?

You can read more about this news via this article - AP News
Georgia, United States
They will already be forced to have a permit to build anyway, so why not just remove the permitting process to get the go ahead? Seems pointless when they will have to take out a lot of permits for other things anyway, it's just another permit on top of it all.

And if it can help save money for us, then yes please!
The article also discusses how certificate-of-need permitting has been primarily supported by incumbent hospitals and health care providers that are opposed to new competition. To me, this kind of self-serving support for bureaucratic inefficiency is not unlike the support you see from industries that promote burdensome occupational licensing that effectively functions to stifle outside competition (I recall we previously discussed efforts to loosen occupational licensing requirements in this thread). It's unfortunate when permitting laws no longer provide a public benefit but instead persist only because they strengthen the competitive advantage of one powerful group over other groups. Hopefully the Georgia state legislature is able to successfully repeal the certificate-of-need requirements without too much hassle.
It is difficult to say whether the Georgia Senate committee's recommendation to remove permit requirements for establishing and building medical care facilities will be enacted or not. The committee's recommendation is just the beginning, Georgia Senate will still need to vote in favor with the majority of votes. Whether the permit requirements will be removed or not depends on how the interest groups work towards this.

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