NC General Assembly passes changes to Certificate of Need rules, setting stage for speedier hospital construction

NC Legislature

Legislation appending North Carolina’s Certificate of Need rules has been approved by the General Assembly with bi-partisan support, leading to the probability of more rapid construction of treatment spaces such as hospitals.

While the law still needs to be signed by Gov. Roy Cooper, the General Assembly gave its approval in a 100-3 vote on Aug. 24, following near-unanimous Senate approval in May.

The certificate of need rules require health regulators to evaluate whether additional medical services are necessary in a community and sign off on them, the Associated Press reports.

“Many conservatives have sought to do away with these laws over the years without success but the House and Senate came up with a bipartisan measure,” the published report says.

“The bill would increase the spending threshold on equipment at diagnostic centers, for major medical equipment and for capital expenditures at new institutions before becoming subject to review. Those dollar amounts, which a legislator said hadn’t been changed in decades, would be adjusted annually going forward.”

The legislation sets deadlines (based on project costs) for when construction must begin on a health service facility after a certificate is issued.


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