Joint Statement of the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice to the Virginia Certificate of Public Need Work Group

Matter Number:

V150011

Summary

The FTC and DOJ Antitrust Division jointly submitted a statement, in response to a request by Virginia State Delegate Kathy Byron, suggesting that Virginia consider whether its COPN program best serves the needs of its citizens. The statement explained that the agencies historically have urged states to consider repeal or reform of their CON laws because they can prevent the efficient functioning of health care markets, and thus can harm consumers. As the statement described, CON laws create barriers to expansion, limit consumer choice, and stifle innovation. They can also deny consumers the benefit of an effective remedy for antitrust violations and can facilitate anticompetitive agreements. In addition, incumbent providers seeking to thwart or delay entry by new competitors may use CON laws to that end. Arguments favoring CON laws have not been supported by the evidence, the statement noted.