Pennsylvania's General Assembly effectively killed the state's certificate-of-need requirements last week when it adjourned without acting on a bill that would have reauthorized the program.
As a result, CON requirements will disappear effective Dec. 19, the day after the current law sunsets.
"The bill died and the program went along with it," said James Redmond, senior vice president for legislative services at the Hospital Association of Pennsylvania.
The program's demise was a surprise. A state House oversight panel had recommended the CON program be extended another year, and CON supporters had succeeded in amending a House bill to do so.
"There are cost-containment, quality and access reasons why the program needs to be around," said a lobbyist with the Urban Healthcare Coalition of Pennsylvania.