Certificate of Need [Healthcare] Law and Legal Definition

The term “certificate of need” when used in the context of health care refers to a certificate issued by a governmental body to an individual or organization proposing to construct or modify a health care facility, or to offer a new or different service. Certificate of need is often referred to as CON. The CON was first started in mid 1970s in an effort made by the federal government to control hospital costs. Approximately 34 states in the U.S. mandate that a CON must be secured before starting a new health care facility.

Health providers may require a certificate of need for certain types of projects such as hospitals, hospices, intermediate care facilities for the developmentally disabled, or nursing homes. Con review covers new facility construction, initiation of specialized hospital services, bed conversions in an existing facility, and many other projects