Monday, June 3, 2013

Unneeded Certificate of Need?

It must have been a really interesting year--1974. Richard Nixon resigned, Patty Hearst was kidnapped, and the Federal government decided to rope in certain aspects of our health care. Why the latter? It seems the theory was too many hospitals or similar endeavors would increase health care costs for the consumer.

Approximately 13 years later, the Federal government abandoned its stance, but all but 17 of the 51 boards remained in effect, including the one in Alabama. Just what does our CON Board cover? Here's the basic list:

  • Construction, establishment, or acquisition of new healthcare facilities, including:
    • general and many specialized hospitals
    • skilled nursing facilities
    • intermediate care facilities
    • skilled or intermediate care units in veterans' homes
    • rehabilitation centers
    • Ambulatory Surgery Center
    • facilities for End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) treatment (dialysis)
    • some alcohol and drug abuse facilities
    • home health agencies
    • hospice
  • Addition of beds or change of bed classification
  • Any medical equipment whose associated cost is greater than $2,647,548
  • New annual operating costs greater than $1,059,019
  • Any capital expenditure for or on behalf of a healthcare facility or organization in excess of $5,295,096
Please note that the expenditure limits are indexed annually. The amounts indicated are for FY 2012.

Quite long for just the basics, isn't it? Don't you wish the government would take that much interest in payday loan stores?


So what happens if the CON Board denies RegionalCare its request for a new hospital--at least the one RC wants to build? The denied party has 15 days to appeal; all appeals will be heard and acted on within approximately five months. And if RC should also lose the appeal? That isn't clear. A private source tells us they could apply again in 24 to 48 months, but we can't find that in any state literature.

And what if RC should decide a smaller hospital isn't worth its time or money? The Brentwood hospital conglomerate would then owe Lauderdale County 40 million. We don't see that happening, but it will nonetheless be interesting to see how this plays out.


By now we assume Jerry Don Crowden is safely back in the Florence-Lauderdale Detention Center. We've had several readers contact us to say this was Crowden's third escape--not second as reported in PNS, but we've been unable to verify that.

If you missed the Pen-N-Sword article on Crowden, his release date is 2029. He isn't eligible for Good Time and we don't see him making parole. Of course, now he has a new escape charge. Here's hoping Lauderdale County tries him this time as a habitual offender.


No comments:

Post a Comment