Certificate of Need

What you need to know about this critical program.

What is Certificate of Need?

The Georgia Certificate of Need (CON) program puts patient care first by assessing the need for a health care facility or a specific care service before approving its construction.

Why is Certificate of Need Important?

For-profit hospitals have one interest in mind; their bottom line, regardless of patient outcomes or a need for their services. The certificate of need program provides a barrier for these for-profit hospitals from entering into Georgia communities and allows community hospitals to focus on providing the valuable care their patients need, when they need them.

There are numerous reasons why the CON program helps benefit Georgians:

  1. Georgia’s CON program has been shown to reduce costs and prices. A recent study shows that Georgia, a CON state, has the lowest hospital prices.
  2. Higher volume of services translates to higher quality of service. Numerous prominent studies have consistently found that hospitals that have higher volumes of service at their facilities (as community hospitals do) typically provide higher quality services, with lower mortality levels, and at lower costs than hospitals with relatively low volumes. CON is designed to prevent a proliferation of duplicative services that would result in low volumes at existing community hospitals.
  3. Prevents excessive demand for physicians and other health professionals that will drive up costs. Every time you add or expand a new health care facility, you create a need for additional permanent staff. This forces the competing facilities to pay more to recruit and retain that staff which drives up health care costs and hurts consumers.
  4. CON protects economic accessibility for all Georgians. Reports by the federal Medicare Prospective Payment Assessment Commission and the National Institutes of Medicine have emphasized the importance of preserving community hospitals and the services they provide. CON exemptions for certain profitable facilities and services would add additional pressures and would jeopardize the very existence of many community hospitals – urban, suburban, and rural.

The CON program has helped sustain a stable health care delivery system; one that provides the majority of Georgians access to excellent and affordable health care and protects community hospitals.


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