Hospital restriction bill sees resistance

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WOWO): Hospitals are warning against an attempt to limit where they can build.

35 states require hospitals to prove there’s a need for a new facility before they can build. Indiana used to but repealed the law 20 years ago.

A Senate committee may vote next week on reinstating it. Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield says Indiana’s health costs are among the highest in the country, thanks in part to clusters of hospitals.

Indiana Hospital Association president Brian Tabor says the “certificate of need” requirement would make it harder to put up hospitals which really are needed. Even if there are lots of hospitals in an area, he notes they don’t all offer the same services. He says the state health department has plenty to do trying to improve Hoosiers’ health and overseeing the quality of care in hospitals — he says approving new construction belongs should remain a local function.

And opponents argue there have been several studies of certificates of need, with no evidence that it produces the cost savings supporters predict.

The push to revive the law began with northside Indianapolis residents trying to block a proposed Saint Vincent hospital just across the county line in Carmel. It would be the seventh hospital in a five-mile radius, with an eighth on the drawing board.

A proposed new Lutheran Health Network hospital for downtown Fort Wayne might be impacted by the bill if passed.


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