News: Fed govt. criticizes Illinois 'certificate of need' law

November 7, 2008

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have told Illinois legislators that the state's 'certificate of need' law is anti-competitive and stifles innovation.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have told an Illinois legislative task force that its current "certificate of need" regulations, which require doctors to prove unmet health needs to the state before opening new offices or hospitals, is anti-competitive and stifles innovation.

The Illinois Task Force on Health Planning Reform is expected to make a recommendation to lawmakers on the CON regulations this month. The agencies have made similar rulings recently in Georgia, Florida, and Alaska.

"If you're a physician who is looking to grow and do surgery centers, you would like to see CON go away," says Scott Becker, co-chairman of the health-care department for McGuireWoods LLP, a Chicago law firm.