North Carolina Certificate of Need: New Review Schedule for Applications Under the North Carolina State Medical Facilities Plan

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

By approval of Governor Roy Cooper, effective April 30, 2020, Chapter 3 of the 2020 North Carolina State Medical Facilities Plan, the review schedule for August through December for certain applicable need determinations, has been amended.  

The annual State Medical Facilities Plan (“SMFP”) serves as the State planning document that includes methodologies and policies used to project the need (“need determinations”) for healthcare services, equipment and facilities throughout the State and which sets the schedule for the review of applications in response to such need determinations.  The SMFP serves as a planning guide for providers, local agencies and community leaders to ensure that the needs of the population for the provision of certain necessary healthcare facilities and services are met.  The SMFP is utilized by the North Carolina Division of Health Service Regulation, Certificate of Need (“CON”) Section, in concert with applicable CON statutes and regulations, to evaluate proposals by healthcare entities (“CON applications”) and providers for the proliferation of new services whose need is governed by the SMFP.

As a result of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”), the remaining schedules for the review of CON applications in response to 2020 SMFP need determinations, with the exception of need determinations for dialysis stations, has been amended.  The remaining review schedule for applications for new Acute Care Beds, Operating Rooms, Adult Care Home Beds, Hospice Home Care Offices, Hospice Inpatient Beds, Child/Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatient Beds, Child/Adolescent Chemical Dependency (Substance Use Disorder) Treatment Beds, Adult Chemical Dependency (Substance Use Disorder) Treatment Beds and Fixed MRI Scanners has been amended as follows:

  • For those services, facilities and equipment identified above, there will be only one scheduled review date and one corresponding application filing deadline in 2020 for each need determination (even though Table 3A shows multiple review dates in each category).
  • The deadlines for such reviews and filings have been pushed back as there are no longer June or July review dates.
  • Revised deadlines for the application of specific services and equipment by Health Service Area (“HSA") are provided below.

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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