Lower Healthcare Costs
Everyone is talking about reducing healthcare costs. But we need less talk and more action. State lawmakers can reduce healthcare costs now with a simple fix to an outdated law, our state's Certificate of Need (CON) law.
Every year in North Carolina, 635,000 surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis. Unfortunately, 72 percent of these surgeries are performed in hospitals, our highest cost facilities. NC patients could save on average $2,000 by having these procedures performed at independently-operated, same-day surgery centers. Our current CON law benefits large North Carolina healthcare networks, severely restricting healthy competition. This lack of competition drives up healthcare costs for patients.
If NC CON reform is implemented, cost savings for Medicaid and the State Health Plan alone are projected to be $147M during the first six years. That’s a big number. And that’s not even taking into account the savings of privately insured patients. Look at it this way, North Carolinians with State Health Plan coverage currently pay up to three times more for medical procedures performed in a hospital versus a same-day surgery center. For all patients, imaging services can be up to 40 percent more expensive in a hospital setting. In fact, North Carolina hospital costs are 10 percent higher than the national average.
These expenses are excessive when specific procedures and screenings can safely and efficiently be offered in same-day surgery centers. It’s time for a change. If you are in favor of lower patient co-pays and overall health insurance premiums for taxpayers, employers, and patients alike, you are in favor of NC CON reform.