Certificate-of-need (CON) laws require healthcare providers to obtain permission before they open or expand their services or purchase certain devices or new technologies. CON applicants must prove that the community needs the new or expanded service, and existing providers are invited to challenge would-be competitors’ applications. CON laws have persisted in spite of mounting evidence from health economists, regulatory economists, and antitrust lawyers showing that these laws fail to achieve their intended goals.

Minnesota regulates ground ambulance services with a CON law.

It also operates a program that is similar to CON regulation, setting numerical caps on three service categories. Once the state reaches these thresholds, providers are not allowed to further increase supply.

This profile highlights the state’s ground ambulance CON and the services that Minnesota caps. Because Minnesota’s CON program is limited to ground ambulance services and because there is less research on caps relative to CON laws, we do not offer any predictions about healthcare cost, quality, or access in the absence of these regulations.