Sioux County Conservatives will host an important Pizza & Policy event at the Sioux Center Pizza Hut on Sept. 19. The event will begin at 7 p.m. and will center around lowering health care costs and getting rid of Iowa’s Certificate of Need laws.
Zak Kubin, senior grassroots trainer and curriculum specialist for Americans for Prosperity Foundation, will be the featured speaker. He’ll be joined by Dr. Kurt Korver of Orange City and a representative from Promise Community Health of Sioux Center to discuss Certificate of Need.
“Imagine if every time you wanted to make an improvement in your life, you needed a government agency’s permission,” said Americans for Prosperity Foundation. “Every day, health care providers seeking to install more hospital beds, buy new x-ray machines, open up nursing homes and improve patient’s care experience face this frustrating scenario. Come learn how ‘Certificate of Need’ laws prevent many health care providers from offering the best possible care at the lowest possible prices, especially in under-served communities.”
From birthmonopoly.com: In Iowa, there’s a Certificate of Need process that creates a state exemption from competition for healthcare facilities. New facilities must obtain a Certificate of Need from the state to move forward. Existing market players are allowed to weigh in on whether or not new facilities are needed and deserve a certificate. It gives the folks already in business the power to effectively block expansion of the marketplace — or, put another way, to maintain a monopoly.
Belinda Lassen, a certified nurse midwife in Sioux Center, wanted to establish a free standing birth center. At the time, Iowa had one free standing birth center located in Des Moines. The certificate was denied by a 4-1 vote.
Korver, an ENT in Orange City, testified in person at an Iowa Senate subcommittee meeting on the issue in February.
“My charges for placing tubes, the most I get, is $480,” Korver said. “But (the local hospitals) charges for a short 5-10 minute procedure are between $2,300-$4,300. Blue Cross is $4,300. In many cases the facility charges are almost nine times what I charge for performing the surgery.
“Because of Certificate of Need laws, I’m not allowed to help these families save thousands of dollars on a short 5-10 minute surgery in my office. How much money? Add my costs with the hospital costs and the little procedure costs $3,000-$5,000. I should be able to do this for between $1,000-$1,300 if I was allowed to have a facility.”
Korver is involved in a federal lawsuit involving Certificate of Need in the state of Iowa.