ACTION STEPS FOR ADVOCATES
There are many ways to get involved to protect access to health care when hospitals merge. Advocates can learn about their state’s Certificate of Need policies, employ them to the maximum extent possible when cases arise and document the impact of gaps in their state’s policies in order to push for stronger state oversight of proposed hospital transactions.
Here are some recommended action steps for state consumer health advocates:
1. Get to know the Certificate of Need policies in your state. Start with the information on each state that you can find in this report and get more detail by using our State Grades map.
2. Review our Model Policies and the CON policies in neighboring or comparable states to see how your state stacks up.
3. Engage allies in your state who care about health care access and
start a discussion about whether your state’s hospital oversight is strong enough to protect community access to care when hospitals merge. Identify those policies that are weak or missing, and need to be strengthened.
4. Identify key health policy makers in your state and push them to analyze the impact of hospital consolidation on consumers in your state.
5. Advocate for changes to your state’s Certificate of Need laws to create a more robust system of oversight over hospital consolidation. Is there a hospital merger right now in your community that needs your attention? Contact us for help in identifying aspects of your state’s existing hospital oversight laws that you could employ to protect community access to care. Reach us at www.MergerWatch.org