While Richard Bruch’s July 22 Point of View “Lowering costs through competition” advocated repeal of North Carolina’s Certificate of Need laws, it does not consider all aspects of CON, particularly how it affects hospice care.
North Carolina’s hospice providers are already very competitive. Patients have choices of providers in every county. The hospice industry in North Carolina is united in opposition to the proposed repeal of CON.
As an association that works in two states (North Carolina and South Carolina), the Carolinas Center sees firsthand the positive effect of CON in North Carolina and, conversely, how the lack of CON in South Carolina contributes to disparate services.
▪ Equal access to a full spectrum of health care services throughout the state.
▪ A mechanism to ensure high-quality hospice care services are being delivered.
▪ Planning time for health facilities to meet evolving needs while controlling health care costs.
Because hospice providers typically receive a per diem payment, greater competition will not reduce costs.
When compared with South Carolina, North Carolina hospices provide quality end of life care at a lower overall cost per patient.
CON is working well in North Carolina. It has not limited competition nor has it limited access to hospice care in any county.
Chair, the Carolinas Center for Hospice and End of Life Care; CEO, Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc.