Governor’s Certificate of Need (CON) Task Force July Meeting Highlights 

By Rosana Garcia 

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The Governor’s Certificate of Need (CON) Task Force met for its third session on July 18 (CT-N recording of the meeting here).  June 20th’s meeting was cancelled, due to the General Assembly’s Special Session.  Some highlights from the meeting:

  • Dr. Zack Cooper, who presented at the Health Care Cabinet in February, shared more on his findings about health care markets and gave some suggestions to the Task Force on the CON program.  He opened his discussion by explaining how rising health care costs are a real-time issue for many individuals and families.  He wrapped up his presentation with policy recommendations; Dr. Cooper supports addressing anti-competitive mergers and acquisitions with anti-trust enforcement, rather than using the CON program for this purpose.  Several Cabinet members took exception at Dr. Cooper’s conclusions, though it was generally agreed that his data analysis was useful for their discussion.
  • Office of Policy and Management (OPM) staffers presented an overview of the results of a survey that was given to all the Task Force members, asking them about their views of the CON program (you can also check out the more in-depth final results).
  • An hour was dedicated to discussion about the goals of the CON program: Planning, need, access, cost, quality, and competition.  What was clear by the end of the meeting is that members of the Task Force have differing views on what a CON program should and can do.  What makes the CON conversation particularly challenging is that the CON program in Connecticut oversees a myriad of health care services in the state.  While the CON Task Force arose out of concerns about the accelerated changes of hospital ownership in the state, the CON program also applies to nursing home facilities the purchase of health care technology.  All of these issues are up for discussion.

We will keep you posted on future CON Task Force meetings, as the group moves towards their recommendations, which are due on December 1, 2016

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