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Which also means if you haven't been notified that you won today, you still have a chance! Oops — looks like it may take a couple of days to find out who actually won! August 13, by Editor. For months, Republican lawmakers in both chambers of the legislature have been calling for changes to the laws: Senate leader Phil Berger R-Eden has indicated his support for doing away with CON altogether. Meanwhile, in the House, Rep. When certificate of need laws were established in the s, they gave state oversight of the creation and distribution of health care facilities and services.
The idea was to prevent the establishment of too many hospitals and hospital beds, which would create an incentive to keep those beds filled, thus driving up costs. But in recent years, lawmakers have sought to do away with the certificate of need program, saying the application process is cumbersome and too expensive, and that having the system stifles competition.
Doctors in lucrative specialties, such as orthopedic or eye surgery, have pushed for elimination of CON. On the opposite side of the argument, hospital leaders worry that allowing those services to be offered by competitors would eliminate well-reimbursed programs that subsidize hospital loss leaders such as maternity and emergency care.
He may well have a point. In the s, when Pungo Hospital received its original certificate of need, Beaufort County, where Belhaven is located, and the two surrounding counties of Hyde and Washington had about 56, people. On top of that, the way doctors use hospitals has changed from the s. Instead of filling beds overnight, most care is done on an outpatient basis, with few people staying in the dozens of beds that Pungo had a certificate of need for. When Vidant Health came to Belhaven and took over Pungo in , the place was running in the red. After managing the hospital for several years, Vidant, formerly University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina, decided to close it, arguing the hospital was hemorrhaging money.
She also said Vidant pledged to build an urgent care center. He also said at least one person has died waiting to be picked up by a helicopter. Since Vidant announced the intention to close Pungo, the two sides have been at odds. They agreed to a federally mediated a consent decree in spring , but the closure eventually proceeded last year. A lawsuit, fingerpointing and recriminations have followed. That facility will open next summer. Belhaven officials say they want to reopen Pungo. At this time, the information has not been received.
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