I wrote a post last week for US News & World Report on the issue of certificates of need for new hospitals. It is available here.
In New Hampshire, a new specialty hospital, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, wants to bypass the usual Certificate of Need process. That has raised interesting questions on the role of competition in health care.
If anyone wants to read an academic paper on the topic, a very recent one is
Cutler, David M., Robert S. Huckman, and Jonathan T. Kolstad. 2010. "Input Constraints and the Efficiency of Entry: Lessons from Cardiac Surgery." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2(1): 51–76.