2022 Hospital Accountability Bills Up for Action
URGENT: Calls needed now for HB 5449!
This action alert went out April 20, 2022 and is the latest!
Call your House of Representatives member TODAY and ask them to pass the strongest possible version of House Bill 5449.
House Bill 5449 protects local care. Hospitals are required to ask permission to expand or close services or to acquire another hospital. This is called Certificate of Need (CON), a process overseen by the Office of Health Strategy. The aim of CON is to make sure that hospitals are not adding expensive, unnecessary services, are not ending services that local communities rely on, and are not pursuing mergers to have unchecked power to raise their prices.
HB 5449 aims to strengthen the CON process. It toughens up the rules regarding hospital mergers as well as closure of services, such as Labor & Delivery or Intensive Care Units. And it empowers the Attorney General to take action when hospitals ignore those rules.
The hospital industry is pushing back and trying to water down or kill the bill. Your House member needs to hear from you TODAY.
Hospitals should not be maximizing profits while ignoring community needs. Call your House Representative today and ask them to pass the strongest possible version of HB 5449 to make the CON process answerable to people, not hospital power.
Finding your state House of Representatives member
To find your state House of Representatives member, go here.
The link takes you to a page on the Connecticut General Assembly webpage where you can type in your address to find who represents you at the state level and in Washington, DC. Today, you want to contact your state House of Representatives member.
What you can do from now until the end of the 2022 Legislative Session
This year’s state legislative session ends on May 4. The clock is ticking for our legislators to pass two key bills that will help put patient and community health needs front and center.
Patient & community needs are suffering
Closing labor & delivery services, skimping on investments to meet community health needs, pushing up the cost of care, and making corporate decisions that favor the bottom line over patients – these are some of the reasons Universal and state legislators are looking to hold accountable hospitals and the networks of care they have built.
Hospitals and large care networks built by gobbling up multiple hospitals and medical practices create troubling trends. Too many hospitals pay too little attention to their responsibility to invest in and support health care needs specific to the locations they serve, known as community benefits.
These trends are nationwide. Yet, what is happening with hospitals right here in Connecticut raises red flags for community groups, health equity advocates, medical professionals, legal watchdogs, legislators, health care workers, and the state’s Attorney General William Tong.
Too much concentrated power warps the health care landscape and threatens the future of key services, such as labor & delivery. Consolidation drives up the cost of care and shrinks choice of providers.
Take action to support two hospital accountability bills
Working with advocates, including Universal, legislators drafted two bills to hold hospitals accountable to the communities they serve and give the state more teeth to clamp down on bad behavior.
Both bills need your support to pass in the face of hospital industry opposition.
Please call your state representative and state senator today—ask them to let leadership know they want action on these two bills before May 4, 2022.
- House Bill 5449 - Protecting our care and services: Hospitals are required to ask permission to close or expand services (like labor & delivery) and to acquire another hospital or medical practice. This is called Certificate of Need (CON), a process overseen by the Office of Health Strategy. Strengthening the CON would impose tougher penalties when hospitals skirt the rules and construct guardrails to protect community health needs when hospital consolidation deals happen – including when hospitals want to terminate services such as labor & delivery and Intensive Care Units.
- Senate Bill 476 - Strengthening community benefits requirements: Nonprofit hospitals are required to invest in programs that improve health in the communities they serve. Too often the hospitals decide what they will support without listening to the people impacted – and they invest way too little (spending has declined in the past 5 years while revenues grew). To learn more about community benefits, check out this factsheet created by our ally Health Equity Solutions.
- Find your legislators here: C G A (ct.gov)
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