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Public Health and Health Planning Council Approves CON Reform

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The Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC) on Thursday unanimously adopted a Certificate of Need (CON) reform package as efforts continue to rethink the role of CON in light of the transformative changes occurring in health care today.  HANYS, its members, and other stakeholders  have been engaged in this ongoing process to highlight the need for greater efficiency and value from CON, and to eliminate those elements of the process that have been replaced over the years by more appropriate health planning or quality oversight tools.

The reform package adopted on Thursday includes:

  • eliminating CON review for certain construction projects, such as physical plant modernization, while retaining “licensure” reviews involving safety codes—HANYS will seek to clarify these new processes as this is implemented;
  • reducing from 60 to 23 the types of outpatient services subject to separate certification and creating a separate category of “medical services” to encompass a greater array of services on a facility operating certificate;
  • streamlining the process for adding outpatient behavioral health services and delivering integrated behavioral health and physical health services—this will require statutory change to allow for reimbursement for services approved under this streamlined process; and
  • enhancing of the New York State Electronic CON system (NYSE-CON), including tracking progress of projects after CON approval through to construction and better public notification systems.

HANYS will meet with the Department of Health later this month to discuss the timetable for implementing these reforms and to provide recommendations for the next phase of discussions on overhauling CON.  HANYS will again soliciting ideas from its CON policy group to contribute to these efforts. HANYS encourages members with specific ideas or concerns to contact Karen Roach, Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs and Rural Health, at kroach@hanys.org or Frederick Heigel, Vice President, Health System Redesign and Regulatory Affairs, at fheigel@hanys.org.

Further details are available on the DOH Web site and HANYS will provide members with periodic updates on implementation timelines.  Contact:  Karen Roach

Published June 8, 2012