CERTIFICATE OF NEED APPROVAL
Help with Certificate of Need (CON) Issues
Many states have Certificate of Need or Certificate of Necessity (CON) laws. CON laws are designed to control the growth and associated costs of health care facilities and services, coordinate the planning of healthcare facilities, and to avoid duplication. Although an incredibly large degree of variation between jurisdictions exists, all CON laws require that certain health care providers receive approval before commencing major projects, e.g., building expansions. Some states also allow for a Certificate of Exemption (COE) in lieu of a full CON. CON approval, however, is most commonly required for acute care hospital beds, ambulatory surgery centers, nursing homes, open heart surgery, and rehab facilities. Relatively few jurisdictions require approval for assisted living facilities or medical office buildings.
Federal law once required states to have an approval process for healthcare projects involving major capital outlays. However, despite the repeal of that law, 38 states still have some form of CON program and CON Laws. Help with Certificate of Need applications is a real issue for providers. Experts in Certificate of Need consulting, people who understand the Certificate of Need process and succeed at it, are rare.
A number of factors combine to make the CON and COE process difficult. From a procedural as well as a substantive standpoint, the rules tend to be extremely complex. Applications commonly require not only regulatory expertise, but financial and medical knowledge as well. There is no set formula for obtaining approval. Each project is considered unique. Success depends not on filling out the proper forms but on convincing the relevant authority that the project will serve the healthcare needs of the community. Moreover, providers operating in multiple jurisdictions can be subject to very different rules. The Certificate of Need Process is different for a new ASC or Rehab facility than is the Certificate of Need process for Hospitals. Variations occur regularly as to which types of projects are covered, how standards are applied, and how the application process is conducted. The expert Certificate of Need consultants at Advis have mastered the subject.
Florida Releases Class I Hospitals from the Certificate of Need Process.