North Carolina changes certificate-of-need law

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The North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper recently signed a bill that will make changes to the state's certificate-of-need law.

Certificate-of-need laws require hospitals and medical providers to seek approval from state regulators to add services, medical equipment or beds. The goal of the law is to limit unnecessary services and increase competition.

The new law allows medical providers to add more equipment and services before needing to undergo the certificate-of-need process by increasing the dollar threshold that must be exceeded. For example, for capital expenditures for new healthcare services, the threshold will rise to $4 million, up from $2 million. Additionally, for major medical equipment, the threshold would increase to $2 million, up from $750,000.

The new thresholds would adjust each year for inflation, beginning September 2022.

The bill also requires certificate-of-need holders to initiate construction projects within a specified time frame or lose the certificate. Projects costing $50 million or more would need to start within four years of the certificate becoming final.

Mr. Cooper signed the bill into law Aug. 30. The House passed the bill in late August. The Senate passed the bill in May. 

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