SEANC scores victory in CON case against hospitals

Nov 25, 2019

SEANC and other organizations scored a victory in the fight to rein in health care costs this week, when a lawsuit challenging the state’s unnecessary Certificate of Need (CON) laws was deemed credible enough to proceed.

The suit, filed by Dr. Gajendra Singh, challenges the constitutionality of the state’s CON law. SEANC is part of a coalition of interest groups that filed an amicus brief in support of Dr. Singh.

CON laws require that hospitals and other providers must obtain permission from a state planning board to build a new facility or expand an existing one. This allows large, established hospital groups to prevent competition, which leads directly to higher prices for consumers like the State Health Plan and its members. North Carolina has one of the most restrictive CON laws in the country. Not surprisingly, the N.C. Healthcare Association filed a brief in support of the defendants’ motion to dismiss the case. A Superior Court judge denied the motion to dismiss the lawsuit meaning it can move forward.