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November 24, 2020

Revisiting States’ Experience With Certificate of Need

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Economics, Rice University, Houston, Texas
  • 2Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
JAMA. 2020;324(20):2033-2035. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.20831

Many states enforce certificate of need regulations that require hospitals to obtain approval from a designated state agency before opening new facilities, adding capacity, or offering particular complex, costly services, such as heart transplants. Yet at least 9 states took steps in 2019 to modify their certificate of need rules, often because those laws are viewed as ineffective in controlling overutilization or improving quality.1,2 As Yuce and colleagues3 observed in this issue of JAMA, most of the literature examining the association between certificate of need and measures of utilization and patient outcomes is more than a decade old, and advances in quality measurement and improvement warrant the updated analysis that these authors undertook.