Atlantic Orthopaedic Specialists (AOS) is backing a renewed reform effort of the Commonwealth’s Certificate of Public Need (COPN) laws during the upcoming 2017 Virginia General Assembly session.

“We strongly support any effort to finally make meaningful reforms of Virginia’s COPN requirements,” said J. Abbott Byrd, MD, president, Atlantic Orthopaedic Specialists. “The current COPN laws are among the most restrictive in the nation and constrain opportunities for physicians to invest in their businesses and expand care for patients.”
Responding to consumers seeking more convenient walk-in care, in recent years AOS has opened new locations, extended hours and embraced new technologies, according to Byrd. “Under the current COPN laws, we’ve adapted our specialty orthopaedic practice as best we can to the way patients live today,” Byrd stated. “Now the Virginia General Assembly should do the same.”

Dr. Byrd said advancements in technology and medical care now allow physicians to offer more services at their practices – at a savings to both patients and the healthcare system. He cited imaging service and ambulatory surgical centers as specific examples to remove from the COPN process.

This would allow patients with possible fractures, sprains and strains, and other sports- and work-related injuries, or sudden onset back and leg pain, to receive immediate, after-hours treatment, and avoid the expense of an emergency room co-pay, according to Byrd.

“All patients in Virginia will be better served as a result,” he said. “We urge voters to contact their representatives to let them know that they support legislative action this session to deregulate the state’s COPN statutes and expand access to care for patients in our region.”

Those interested in learning more about this issue and how to get more involved can visit the Atlantic Orthopaedic Specialists website: