by James C. Sherlock
Sometimes I think we don’t personalize the effects of Virginia’s Certificate of Public Need (COPN) program on individual Virginians in ways that are relatable. Nor do many understand the power of the hospital monopolies.
Many readers here have followed the progress of our reporting of the increasing and relentless suppression of competition in healthcare by COPN. I will offer in this essay a single example that may personalize it.
In 2009, the regulation, not the law, that defined the radius from your home of facilities that would be considered when seeing whether you are adequately served by existing open heart surgery facilities was changed as follows:
Title 12. Health » Agency 5. Department Of Health » Chapter 230. State Medical Facilities Plan » Part IV. Cardiac Services
Criteria and Standards for Open Heart Surgery
12VAC5-230-440. Accessibility Travel time.
A. Open heart surgery services should be within
3060 minutes driving time one way, under normal conditions, of 95% of the population of a the [ health ] planning district [ using mapping software as determined by the commissioner ].
Simple change. Thirty minutes was changed to 60 minutes. You surely did not notice. You were meant not to notice. And your elected representatives were not asked to vote on it. Continue reading