The Washington Certificate of Need (“CN”) Program recently announced a temporary change in the CN requirements for acute care hospitals to change the use of existing licensed beds to psychiatric care beds. Acute care hospitals choosing to convert some of their acute care beds to psychiatric beds will not have to undergo the CN review process. This exemption however does not extend to the addition of new beds added to the hospital’s licensed bed count, only the conversion of existing beds. Hospitals will also be allowed to return the use of the exempt psychiatric beds to general acute care services (i.e. med/surg) without full CN review.
In order to take advantage of this exemption, acute care hospitals will still have to submit a “Hospital Change of Use Exemption Hospitals Licensed Under RCW 70.41 Proposing Psychiatric Beds” application to the CN Program with an application fee of $1,925. If the project is approved it must commence within two years of the exemption issue date (unless a 6 month extension is otherwise granted). Hospitals applying for this exemption will still need to meet the physical plan standards and staffing ratios required for providing psychiatric care.
For more information about this exemption or Certificate of Need generally please contact Elana Zana.