N.C.’s State Health Coordinating Council Committees Enter Key Votes

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Williams Mullen

Planning for new health care capabilities across North Carolina moved ahead with key votes in September by each of the committees of North Carolina’s State Health Coordinating Council (SHCC). Providers interested in new nursing home beds, new operating rooms, a new hospice agency, new hospice inpatient beds and new LINAC and MRI equipment are one step closer to opportunities to apply for 2022 certificate of need (CON) approvals. 

During September, the SHCC’s three committees heard from Agency staff and entered their votes on a range of petitions, rejecting many but accepting several. The committees also lodged votes impacting planning for acute care beds, cardiac catheterization equipment and other health care offerings. Highlights from the September voting included:

  • Approval of the petition to include a need determination for one operating room (OR) in the Pitt/Greene/Hyde/Tyrrell service area;
  • A recommendation to add a need determination for two ORs in the Wake County service area;
  • Approval of the petition to add 36 nursing home beds in the Cabarrus County service area;
  • Approval of the petition for an adjusted need determination for an additional LINAC in Carteret County; and
  • Denial of the petition to remove the need determination in the 2022 SMFP for an additional unit of fixed MRI equipment in the Pasquotank/Camden/Currituck/Perquimans service area.

Efforts to gain support for a home health agency need for Buncombe County and for recognition of a need for as many as six ORs in Wake County both failed in committee voting. 

Notably, the committees left in place the projected need determinations for a new hospice home care office and ten new hospice inpatient beds for the Cumberland County service area. In addition, the 2022 Plan is still expected to show some need for new psychiatric and chemical dependency treatment center beds in selected areas of the State.

This year’s committee meetings were paused to recognize the dedicated service and contributions of Dr. Christopher Ullrich, the SHCC Chair, who passed away in August. 

As next steps in the annual health planning process, the full SHCC will meet later in September and again in October. Following the final SHCC meeting of the year, a draft Plan will be presented to Governor Roy Cooper for review. The Governor will be expected to sign the final version of the State Plan near year’s end. In 2022, providers will have an opportunity to file Applications which will be reviewed under the leadership of the CON Section’s new Chief, Michaela Mitchell. 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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