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Letter to Elected Officials About the CON Process June 2011

Dear Elected Official:


The above referenced legislation would streamline and update the state’s Certificate of Need (CON) program. New York Hospital Queens strongly supports this legislation and urges its enactment during the current legislative session.


This proposal would support more efficient use of hospital and state resources in the CON approval process by redefining those projects and instances that warrant CON review. Specifically, the legislation would remove “routine” projects out of the CON process. Examples of routine projects include: the repair or maintenance of minor equipment; non-clinical infrastructure projects such as replacement of heating and cooling systems, roofs, fire alarm systems, parking lots, and elevators; and one-for-one equipment replacements. Additionally, the bill would modify pre-opening requirements by allowing for the certification of compliance.


CON review of such routine projects is unnecessary and adds costs to the health care system. Moreover, as the state continues to grapple with a diminishing workforce, this proposal would allow reviewers to focus on the higher-cost, complex projects that would more appropriately benefit from a thorough state analysis and public debate. With the efficiencies achieved under this legislation, providers will be able to focus more on what matters most – quality patient care. This proposal will help ensure that the CON process continues to be a relevant and effective health-planning tool that ensures the fair and cost-effective distribution of quality health care services across New York.


This proposal takes into consideration the limitations on hospital and state resources and attempts to refocus the CON process so that it alleviates some of the process burdens and fiscal pressures on both. It seeks to promote effective state oversight while ensuring safe and affordable health care across the state. The process improvements outlined in this bill would lead to cost savings for the health care system and the state of New York. The current CON application process requires considerable staff and financial resources from start to finish. Current process delays drive additional costs and create other project challenges, Members of the Legislature such as loss of site control for a leased facility, which would ultimately lead to greater project expenses. Further, delays that hamper completion of the current CON process only deprive patients of modernized facilities and more current modalities of treatment.  For the reasons stated above as well as those set forth in the Introducer’s Memorandum In Support, New York Hospital Queens strongly supports this legislation and urges its enactment.

Sincerely, 

Stephen S. Mills
President & Chief Executive Officer

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