Medical Facility Curbs Proposed

May 8, 2012 – In The News
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

State Senator Jim Ferlo believes that Pennsylvania needs to fight rising health care costs by bringing back a review process to avoid adding unnecessary hospitals and medical equipment. Ferlo, responding to a series of articles in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, is seeking co-sponsors for legislation that would restore the certificate of need review in which health care companies are required to obtain state approval to build facilities or purchase major equipment. Pennsylvania let its certificate of need law expire in 1996.

Fox Rothschild Health Law Partner Bill Maruca says the program worked well years ago when health insurers didn’t have as much power. Today, there is no guarantee an insurer will sign a reimbursement contract with a facility.

“The certificate of need might not be the cure-all that people think it is,” Maruca said. “It was a cost-control tool that worked well at a time when health insurers did not restrict who they contracted with.”