Florida relies on a Certificate of Need (CON) process to regulate the expansion of health care facilities to avoid the duplication of costly medical services.
The program requires health care providers to apply for state approval before establishing new or expanding existing services. In Florida, CON governs only specific health care providers, including hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and skilled nursing facilities. It governs specific services, including new facility construction, new specialized hospital services (for example, trauma services), certain bed conversions and increasing the number of inpatient beds at hospitals.
Florida enacted its CON process in 1973, and the process was streamlined significantly during the 2004 and 2008 Legislative Sessions. The 2008 revisions refocused the process to be based solely on the issue of need and access to hospital care services and removed financial viability and cost criteria from the review. The CON process no longer regulates all hospital projects and mainly provides oversight for the establishment of new facilities and replacement facilities greater than one mile away from a main hospital. Neonatal units and rehabilitation beds also continue to be covered under CON.
For more information, contact FHA General Counsel Bill Bell.