Microhospitals Booming-But Not in Missouri, Thanks to Certificate of Need
We often preach that boosting the supply of health care services is a necessary component of any serious and significant health care reform. Indeed, we published a whole paper about its importance last month. And along with licensure reform—to which most of that paper was devoted—doing away with the Missouri's Certificate of Need (CON) laws for hospitals would be a huge supply-side reform and victory for the state's patients.
CON laws limit where many health care facilities can open in Missouri, effectively carving out monopolies and oligopolies for incumbent providers. Sometimes the negative consequences of CON aren't obvious to patients because new providers don't even bother entering a CON health care market, so customers never see what they aren't getting. But for patients here in the Kansas City area, the difference between a CON state like Missouri and a non-CON state like Kansas is becoming a lot clearer as new, smaller health care operations are exploding in Kansas—but not here in Missouri.