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Anticipating Hospital Bed Shortages, States Suspend Certificate of Need Programs to Allow Quick Expansions

This commentary discusses what states are doing as coronavirus hospitalizations and ICU bed demand surge across the country. 13 states have quickly acted to implement temporary, targeted suspensions of their certificate of need (CON) requirements for construction or expansion of new health care facilities to remove regulatory barriers to address this critical health care need.

CON laws are state regulatory mechanisms to help determine whether building or expanding health care facilities and services in a given area is needed. Currently, 35 states have CON statutes.