October 20, 2017
Earlier this month, the North Carolina State Health Coordinating Council (“SHCC”) held its final meeting of the year. Chief among the topics of discussion was the Proposed North Carolina 2018 State Medical Facilities Plan (“SMFP” or the “Plan”).
In addition to adjusting a few need determinations contained in the proposed Plan, the SHCC also made small but interesting tweaks to some of the SMFP’s methodology relevant to operating rooms (“ORs”). These changes, which were based upon the recommendations of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Health Service Regulation (the “Agency”), include the following:
Assumptions of the Methodology
A “health system” includes all licensed or approved health service facilities with operating rooms located in the same service area that are owned or leased by:
A health system may consist of only one health service facility. In the event that a need for additional operating rooms is generated by the relocation or transfer of operating rooms to a different health system, the need determination will not appear until the relocated or transferred operating rooms are licensed in their new location.
For the Proposed 2018 State Medical Facilities Plan, when a need is calculated, the minimum need determination for operating rooms is set to two, after rounding. In addition, the maximum operating room need determination in a service in a single year will not exceed six, regardless of the deficit calculated. The Agency will reevaluate these two adjustments in 2018 to recommend whether to continue them.
Certificate of Need applications for new operating rooms are not restricted to the entity(ies) that generated the deficits.
Although limited in their scope, these changes are likely to be carried over to the next year’s Plan and could have lasting impact.
 Developed annually by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Health Service Regulation, under the Direction of the SHCC, the SMFP projects the need for various regulated health care services and facilities in the State of North Carolina. Where the projected need for a regulated facility or service exceeds the number either developed or in development, the SMFP makes a need determination to allow the development of a specific number of units of that facility or service in identified geographic areas within the state. .
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