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10.03.2018 North Carolina State Health Coordinating Council Votes on Proposed 2019 State Medical Facilities Plan By: Joy Heath & Anderson M. Shackelford

On October 3, 2018, North Carolina’s health planning body, the State Health Coordinating Council (SHCC), met in Raleigh to finalize its work on the document that will define health care opportunities in North Carolina for the year to come. The much-anticipated 2019 State Medical Facilities Plan (SMFP) will now be tendered for consideration by Governor Cooper.

As in 2018, the 2019 SMFP is expected to reveal opportunities for the development of new operating rooms (ORs) in counties across North Carolina. By identifying the need for new ORs in various locations, the 2019 SMFP will open the doors for hospital OR expansion projects or proposals for new freestanding ambulatory surgery centers. Again this year, a flurry of activity is anticipated to follow the announcement of the OR need determinations in the 2019 SMFP. The 2019 SMFP is expected to reveal a need for six new ORs in Mecklenburg County and six new ORs in New Hanover County. OR need determinations are also expected for Wake and Orange Counties. Hospitals in Forsyth, Gaston, and Mecklenburg Counties anticipate opportunities to apply for Certificate of Need (CON) approval for additional acute care beds in 2019.

In long-term care, the 2019 SMFP is likely to keep a tight lid on new development opportunities with only limited openings for CON approval for adult care home beds in several rural counties. As in years past, the SMFP will force providers to look to the acquisition of existing nursing home and adult care home beds to satisfy their objectives in North Carolina. To this point, on November 7, 2018, Williams Mullen will provide a free webinar on buying, selling and relocating long-term care beds in North Carolina. For more information, and to register, please click here.

In the Technology and Equipment arena, the 2019 SMFP is expected to identify an opportunity for CON approval of a new Fixed Dedicated PET scanner in Health Service Area IV, which includes Wake County and surrounding Counties. The 2019 SMFP is also anticipated to include opportunities for the acquisition of new MRI scanners in Forsyth, Mecklenburg, and Wake Counties. New cardiac catheterization equipment is expected to be shown as needed in Buncombe County. The 2019 SMFP is expected to identify a need for a new linear accelerator in the Service Area that includes Robeson County. 

The 2019 SMFP is not anticipated to offer any CON opportunities in home health and hospice. Need determinations for chemical dependency treatment beds are expected in the Central and Eastern Regions of the State for child/adolescent and adult beds, respectively. 

The 2019 SMFP will reveal opportunities in several key health care sectors and will provide a road-map for providers charting plans for growth and development in the coming year.

For more information about opportunities available in the 2019 SMFP, please contact Joy Heath at 919.981.4001 or jheath@williamsmullen.com, or  Anderson Shackelford at 919.981.4312 or ashackelford@williamsmullen.com.