South Dakota hospital fight revives debate over health care competition

The Saint ReportHealth Care, saintblogLeave a Comment

arberdeen-south-dakotaHospitals can fight against potential competitors with as much vigor as “big box” retailers. One such battle is being waged in South Dakota, one of 14 states without a system of hospital review, or certificate of need (CON), to determine if its communities need more health care facilities.

Megan Myers reports in the Argus Leader that high-stakes competition between health care providers — Sanford Health wants to build a $50 million hospital in Aberdeen, a proposal contested by Avera Health — has reopened a debate over the need or lack of local and federal regulations to rein in expansion plans.

Saint Consulting division manager Darden Copeland, who is based in Nashville, spotted this story and comments: The absence of a CON in various states leads to more competition being waged at the local land-use and planning stages. For hospitals, they set up “health planning” agencies, similar to a planning commission, and this story details the competition among hospitals in the non-CON state of South Dakota.

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