Responsibility for Health Decisions in the State

Several offices in the state make decisions regarding policy and funding for the various programs in the state. They are:

A. Statewide Health Coordinating Council (SHCC) -- Appointed by the governor, the Council makes recommendations for development of state health policy. All members are medical doctors.

B. Certificate of Need Review Board (CON) -- Requires hospitals, nursing homes, ambulatory surgery centers and diagnostic imaging facilities to have explicit approval before they can operate. The Birmingham News (Oct. 14, 2007) printed an article suggesting that CON provides less choice and less innovation and likely never controlled costs and should be discontinued. This is a very debatable subject.

C. Alabama Department of Public Health -- Discussed above.

D. Governor’s Office -- Influences health decisions through budget and policy recommendations to the Legislature as well as nomination of department heads and other positions such as SHCC.

E. Legislature -- Provides funding and oversight for state programs.

F. U.S. Government -- Sets mandates for many state programs and impacts state budgets and programs through matching fund requirements.

Facts & Issues: Health Care in Alabama