During the final days of the 2016 legislative session, the Tennessee General Assembly unanimously approved significant changes to Tennessee’s certificate of need (CON) program.
Tennessee’s CON program was enacted in 1973 with the intent of curbing the rising costs of health care through state-administered health planning. The following year, federal legislation was passed, essentially mandating certificate of need programs in all 50 states. In 1987, the pendulum swung again, and the federal mandate was repealed. Since that time, 14 states have completely repealed their certificate of need laws. Of the 36 states which continued to have some form of CON program, Tennessee has been described by some as one of the most restrictive in terms of its scope of coverage.
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