Skip to main content
07.16.2021 Legal News

Final North Carolina CON Opportunities for New MRI and PET Scanners and Operating Rooms

North Carolina’s 2021 State Medical Facilities Plan (SMFP) includes chances for interested providers to apply to acquire new MRI and PET scanners and to add new Operating Room (OR) capacity in the final certificate of need (CON) cycles of 2021. Any person can apply to meet the need, not just the health service facility or facilities that generated the need. Physician groups, as well as hospitals or others, may apply for a CON to acquire a statewide mobile PET scanner or a new fixed MRI or PET scanner in selected areas of the State per the 2021 SMFP schedule. Likewise, OR proposals may be received from existing hospitals or surgery centers or those proposing to develop new facilities.      

New North Carolina MRI Scanners

In mid-August, the State will accept applications for approval to acquire one new MRI scanner in Mecklenburg County. In mid-September, applications will be received from those interested in acquiring a new MRI scanner for New Hanover County. Finally, in mid-October, the State will receive applications from those proposing a new MRI scanner to serve Orange County. 

Later this month, the State is expected to announce its decision on competing applications to acquire one new MRI scanner in the Service Area that includes Asheville, Buncombe County.  Next month, the State will decide which applicant is approved to acquire a new MRI scanner to serve Wake County. 

New North Carolina PET Scanners

In mid-September, applications will be received from those proposing to acquire a new PET scanner for Health Service Area (HSA) VI, which includes a range of eastern North Carolina Counties extending north from Onslow County up to the Virginia line. HSA VI also includes, among others, Pitt County.   

In mid-October, the State will accept applications for approval to acquire one new PET scanner in HSA V, which includes counties extending across the southern end of North Carolina, east from Anson County over to Brunswick County on the coast. HSA V also includes New Hanover County, among many others.

In response to a petition, the State Health Coordinating Council approved an adjusted need determination for one new mobile PET scanner. The need is identified for a “Statewide” Service Area, and the mobile PET scanner applications are due in mid-October. In July, North Carolina’s Court of Appeals affirmed the approval of an application submitted in response to a previous need determination for a mobile PET scanner with a Statewide Service Area. 

Earlier this year, two applicants proposed to meet the need for one new PET scanner to serve HSA I, with both applicants identifying Asheville as the target location. Most recently, two PET scanner proposals were filed, proposing to serve HSA IV, which includes Durham and Orange Counties. Decisions in these reviews will be announced this fall. 

New OR Capacity

In mid-August, the State will receive applications from those vying for any or all of the three OR CON approvals available for Wake County. In mid-October, applications will be received from those interested in meeting all or a portion of the State-identified need for two new ORs in Brunswick County. 

Earlier in 2021, the State received competing proposals from those seeking to develop ORs in the Durham/Caswell Service Area. The State also received a single Application proposing new OR capacity in Orange County last month. Decisions in these reviews will follow several months from now. 

In the final cycles of the CON year, the SMFP includes a range of opportunities including chances for providers interested in acquiring a fixed MRI, a fixed PET, or a mobile PET scanner or for those seeking to develop OR capacity in a new or proposed facility.  

Key Deadlines

Interested parties should note that application deadlines are absolute, pursuant to 10A NCAC 14C.0203(b). Mid-August 2021 filings are due on August 16, 2021. September and October 2021 deadlines fall on the 15th of each such month. For each deadline referenced above, the filing deadline is 5:00 p.m. on the application deadline date.

For more information, please contact Joy Heath at (919) 981-4001 or