A bill that became law July 1 will streamline the certificate of need process for healthcare providers, but could also be the beginning of the end for the entire CON process, said a key House committee chairman.
House Bill 826, passed last session, provides a direct appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court for hospitals dissatisfied with a CON ruling from the State Department of Health. Before a hospital can expand, build a new facility or purchase certain equipment, the department of health must first grant a CON for the project. Previously, if the agency denied a provider’s CON, the first route of appeal was to a chancery court. Often, though, the final decision would lie with the Mississippi Supreme Court. The new law eliminates the chancery court from the appeals chain.