Mississippi law requires many healthcare providers to apply for and receive a certificate of need from the Department of Health before opening, expanding, relocating, changing ownership, or acquiring major medical equipment. This a difficult and expensive process, during which existing competitors can protest that there is no “need” for a new healthcare facility.
Getting this certificate has nothing to do with proving that the new facility will be safe, sanitary, or high quality. Rather, applicants must convince the government that opening a new health care facility will not financially hurt competing health care businesses.
Additionally, in 1981, Mississippi enacted a ban on the issuance of new certificates of need for home health agencies. This means that for almost four decades, the only way to enter the home health market has been to purchase a previously issued certificate of need from the owner of an existing home health agency who is seeking to sell the agency along with its certificate of need.
If there are no previously issued certificates of need for sale in the desired service area, then healthcare entrepreneurs simply cannot provide home health services. This is preventing professionals like Charles “Butch” Slaughter, a physical therapist, from opening a home health business to reach new patients who would prefer house calls over office visits.
The Mississippi Justice Institute (“MJI”), a non-profit constitutional litigation center and the legal arm of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, will file a federal lawsuit over these unconstitutional laws on behalf of Slaughter.
After filing the lawsuit, MJI Director Aaron Rice, co-counsel Seth Robbins, and Charles Slaughter will hold a press conference at the federal courthouse in Jackson.
Where: Thad Cochran United States Courthouse, Outside the main entrance, 501 E. Court Street, Jackson, MS 39201
- Aaron Rice, director of the Mississippi Justice Institute
- Seth Robbins, pro bono co-counsel
- Charles “Butch” Slaughter, physical therapist
For more information, contact Hunter Estes, Mississippi Center for Public Policy, 301-356-5756 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mississippi Justice Institute is a nonprofit constitutional litigation center and the legal arm of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy.