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Guiding Principles

The following general principles are intended to assist potential Certificate of Public Review (CPR) applicants in understanding the Board's expectations and also to assist the Board itself in conducting CPR reviews, particularly in matters where specific guidelines are lacking.

  • The essential challenge faced by the Board is striking an appropriate balance in its consideration of access, cost and quality of care issues. Evidence that this challenge has been seriously embraced by the applicant should permeate every CPR application.
  • The problem of medical indigency is extremely complex. The Delaware Health Care Commission continues to provide leadership in this area. CPR applicants are expected to contribute to the care of the medically indigent.
  • Historically, health care delivery has too often been episodic and disjointed. Projects which support a managed, coordinated approach to serving the health care needs of the person/population are to be encouraged.
  • Given Delaware's small size and close proximity to major metropolitan referral centers, particularly in Philadelphia and Baltimore, every health care service need not be available within its borders. Potential CPR applicants are expected to take into account the availability of out-of-state resources.
  • Historically, our cost-based reimbursement system has provided little incentive for financial restraint; over-utilization has been encouraged. Revenue centers, not cost centers, were generally emphasized. Projects which reflect or promote incentives for over-utilization (including self-referral) are to be discouraged.
  • Strengthening market forces is a central theme in the health care reform strategy adopted by the Delaware Health Care Commission, a theme which is embraced by the Board. Projects resulting from or anticipated to enhance meaningful markets are to be encouraged. In the past, "competition" has often been on the basis of amenities for physicians (the medical arms race) and patients (the plushest waiting room). In meaningful markets there must be a sensitivity to elements of both cost and quality.
  • Prevention activities such as early detection and the promotion of healthy lifestyles are essential to any effective health care system. The Choose Health Delaware State Health Care Innovation Plan identifies a number of opportunities to improve the health status of Delawareans. The potential for a project to bring about progress in these areas will be viewed as a very positive attribute.