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Tennessee county opposes CON-lifting measure

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The Williamson County, Tenn., board of commissioners passed a resolution opposing state legislation to revise certificate-of-need laws, the Williamson Herald reported Jan. 11.

The Tennessee General Assembly introduced legislation during its last session that would repeal CON requirements for ASCs or outpatient diagnostic centers.

Williamson County's board opposes the change out of fear that Williamson Medical Center's outpatient revenues would be hurt. Williamson Medical Center's COO, Julie Miller, said the hospital makes 70 percent of its revenue from outpatient services.

The board's resolution lets the General Assembly know the county is against the measure, but has no final bearing on the proposed legislation.

CON laws restrict competition and have been tied to lower healthcare quality. Barbara Sturgeon, District 8 commissioner, cited both of these points when speaking to the Herald. She said, "Competition usually increases the quality of services and lowers the price for the consumer. I'm concerned about the consumer — our residents — having more choice and higher quality services, because that's what usually happens with competition."

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