Virginia's Certificate of Public Need Program

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Virginia's Certificate of Public Need Program In the early 1970’s, there was a lot of concern about the rising costs of Medicaid and Medicare. In 1972, the Social Security Act began regulations to try to reign in these costs. The National Health Planning and Resources Development Act was passed in 1974. This Act required states to operate Certificate of Public Need (COPN) programs as a condition of receiving federal funding for health care. The federal COPN requirements were premised on providing orderly planning of health systems to meet the “needs” of the defined population and restricting the overbuilding of facilities, which was perceived as responsible for the high costs of medical services. The issues at the time of the issuance of this legislation were access to primary care, distribution of services in medically under-served areas, prevention, costs, utilization review, and education of the public in personal care and in use of the health care system. Virginia first enacted a COPN law in 1973, one year prior to the federal law requiring state COPN programs. The adoption of the COPN legislation marked the beginning of a new role for the Commonwealth in health care regulation. The State became the regulator of development for all nonfederal medical facilities. For the first time, owners of such facilities were required to obtain prior state approval before undertaking large capital expenditures, an alteration in bed capacity, or a change in service. The Virginia COPN’s objectives included promotion of comprehensive health planning, promotion of the highest quality of health care at the lowest possible cost, the avoidance of unnecessary duplication of medical c... ... middle of paper ... ...effects, but a good transition plan must be in place before the repeal will mean anything but disaster for the health care industry and for the public accessing this industry. Bibliography: Works Cited Joskow, Paul. Controlling Hospital Costs, The Role of Government Regulation. Cambridge: MIT, 1981. Kovner, Anthony, and Jonas, Steven. Health Care Delivery in the United States. New York: Springer Publishing, 1999. Rakich, Jonathon, and Longest, Beaufont, and Darr, Kurt. Managing Health Services Organizations. Baltimore: Health Professions Press, 1992. Salkever, David, and Bice, Thomas. Hospital Certificate-of-Needs Controls. Washington D.C.: American Enterprise Institute, 1979. Virginia. Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission. Certificate-of-Need in Virginia, 1979.

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