MEDIA RELEASE: Justice Center joins legal fight to keep health costs down

Supporting North Carolina’s Certificate of Need laws helps limit health care costs and maintains access to medical facilities for rural and low-income families

RALEIGH (Nov. 18, 2009) -- The North Carolina Justice Center today filed a brief with the North Carolina Court of Appeals to support the state’s Certificate of Need laws that help limit health care costs and maintain access to medical facilities for rural and low-income populations.

Two physician groups have filed a lawsuit that would significantly weaken the state’s Certificate of Need process that helps ensure that medical facilities are not concentrated only in wealthy locations. North Carolina’s Certificate of Need process also prevents the oversupply of expensive medical technology that drives up the costs of care.

“It is critical that the needs of both low-income people and underserved communities are considered in this challenge to Certificate of Need laws,” said Jack Holtzman, senior attorney at the NC Justice Center.

“Research clearly shows the more operating rooms, CAT scanners, and MRI machines, the more we spend on health care – whether people actually need more care or not.  NC’s Certificate of Need process is a critical part of reining in expensive medical costs,” said Adam Searing, Project Director of the NC Justice Center’s Health Access Coalition.

“Recent years have seen an increase in the desire of some NC hospitals to move away from long-served rural communities to the more developed and wealthier areas of the state," Searing said. "Again, NC’s Certificate of Need process provides an important protection to assure rural communities will continue to have access to health care.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:  Jack Holtzman, 919-856-2165, jack@ncjustice.org; Adam Searing, 919-856-2568, adam@ncjustice.org

 

The full amicus brief is available at:

http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/HOPE-A-Amicus-...