"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom" Albert Einstein

"A dame who knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up." Mae West

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

No free market here

The Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board approved a new weight-loss surgical center for a nearby town. Why in the world should any entity that wants to spend thousands-millions of dollars on a health care facility have to get State approval just to build it? They have turned down several other proposals for the community.

No developer will spend that kind of money on a facility without doing his own feasibility study to see if the investment will bring a proper rate of return. That means they will study the market to see if they will be able to get enough patients for the facility and look at the competition within the marketing area. They still have to meet public health standards in the construction and operation phase. So why shouldn't they simply have the right to build a facility meeting those standards if they want to? They shouldn't have to prove anything to the State regarding "need."

The purpose of the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Act says its purpose "is to establish a procedure designed to reverse the trends of increasing costs of health care resulting from unnecessary construction or modification of health care facilities. Such procedure shall represent an attempt by the State of Illinois to improve the financial ability of the public to obtain necessary health services, and to establish an orderly and comprehensive health care delivery system which will guarantee the availability of quality health care to the general public. "

If keeping costs down for consumers is their purpose, then the Health Facilities Board should be approving every application for new health care facilities. Competition is good. Competition drives prices down in the marketplace. Competition provides choices for the consumer. Health care facilities providing poor services will not get patients and will shut down. Facilites providing good patient care will thrive.

We don't need any State board to tell consumers what we need or don't need. Let the developers build all the health care facilities they want. We as consumers will decide who stays or goes.


Going Like Sixty said...

The developers must have been at the same buffet you were!

Catch Her in the Wry said...

No shortage of those kind of patients in the Midwest. And as long as Medicare is paying for the surgery, why not pork up?