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11.06.2020 Expansion Opportunities for Health Care Providers in North Carolina By: Joy Heath & Anderson M. Shackelford

The proposed 2021 Certificate of Need (CON) schedule is now available, identifying the deadlines likely to apply to CON application filings in the coming year. 

Providers interested in new operating rooms, new MRI or PET scanners, a new LINAC or other new capabilities now have a road map for the timing of their proposals. Subject to final approval by the Governor, the schedule will be included in next year’s State Plan. 

The CON year will start early with filings for psychiatric beds in certain areas of the State due in mid-January 2021. 

In February 2021, the State will accept applications for the new hospice inpatient beds in Watauga County and for the new MRI scanner in the Buncombe multi-County service area. 

Also, in February, the State will receive assisted living bed applications for several counties as well as acute care bed proposals for the Pitt multi-County service area.

April is poised to be a busy month on the CON schedule. In April 2021, the State will accept applications for new acute care beds and/or operating rooms in Durham/Caswell. In April, applications will be received in response to the Need Determination for a new home health agency in Mecklenburg County.

Also, in April, the Agency will receive competing applications for the new MRI scanner for Wake County as well as for the new PET scanner for the Health Service Area that includes Buncombe County and surrounding areas. Decisions on the April applications will issue in September, if not before.  

In May 2021, the remainder of the child/adolescent psychiatric and substance abuse applications will fall due. 

In June 2021, the Agency will receive applications for new acute care beds for New Hanover County and for new operating rooms in Orange County. In June, the Agency will accept applications for new hospice inpatient beds for Cumberland County and for new cardiac catheterization equipment for Cabarrus County. Also, in June, the Agency will receive applications for the new PET scanner for the Health Service Area that includes Wake County and surrounding areas. 

In July, the Agency will receive applications for adult care home bed proposals in several areas of the State. 

In August, the Agency will accept applications for Cabarrus County acute care beds and Wake County operating rooms. Also, in August, the Agency will receive competing applications for a new MRI scanner for Mecklenburg County, for cardiac catheterization equipment in New Hanover County and for a linear accelerator for the Service Area that includes New Hanover and several other area Counties. 

September will be the month in which the Agency accepts applications for the new MRI scanner for New Hanover County as well as for the new PET scanner for the Health Service Area that includes Pitt County and surrounding areas.

Like April, October will be a busy month on the CON schedule. In October, the Agency will receive acute care bed applications for Mecklenburg County, operating room applications for Brunswick County, applications for the new MRI scanner for Orange County and applications for both the statewide mobile PET scanner and the fixed PET scanner for the Health Service Area that includes New Hanover County and surrounding areas. 

Decisions on the October applications will issue in March 2022, if not before. No application filing opportunities are set in November or December of 2021. For planning purposes, the newly released schedule provides much-needed information to providers looking to participate in the 2021 CON process.