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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 5. Department of Health
Chapter 220. Virginia Medical Care Facilities Certificate of Public Need Rules and Regulations
2/26/2020

12VAC5-220-230. Review of Complete Application.

A. Review cycle. At the close of the work day on the tenth day of the month, the department shall provide written notification to applicants specifying the acceptance date and review schedule of completed applications, including the date for any informal fact-finding conference that may be held between the eightieth and ninetieth day of the review cycle. The regional health planning agency shall conduct no more than two meetings, one of which must be a public hearing conducted by the regional health planning agency board or a subcommittee of the board and provide applicants with an opportunity, prior to the vote, to respond to any comments made about the project by the regional health planning agency staff, any information in a staff report, the comments of local governing bodies in the health planning district, all other public comments, or comments by those voting in completing its review and recommendation by the sixtieth day of the cycle. By the seventieth day of the review cycle, the department shall complete its review and recommendation of an application and transmit the same to the applicants and other appropriate persons. By the seventy-fifth day of the review cycle, the department shall transmit to the applicant and the appropriate other persons its determination whether an informal fact-finding conference is necessary.

An informal fact-finding conference shall be held when (i) determined necessary by the department or (ii) requested by any person seeking to be made a party to the case for good cause. Any person seeking to be made a party to the case for good cause shall file, no later than four days after the department has completed its review and recommendation of an application and has transmitted the same to the applicants and to persons who have prior to the issuance of the report requested a copy in writing, written notification with the commissioner, applicants and other competing applicants, and regional health planning agency stating the grounds for good cause and providing the factual basis therefor under oath.

For purposes of this section, "good cause" means that (i) there is significant, relevant information not previously presented at and not available at the time of the public hearing, (ii) there have been significant changes in factors or circumstances relating to the application subsequent to the public hearing, or (iii) there is a substantial material mistake of fact or law in the department staff's report on the application or in the report submitted by the regional health planning agency. See § 32.1-102.6 of the Code of Virginia.

B. Time period for review. The review period shall begin on the first day of the applicable review cycle within which an application is determined to be complete, in accordance with scheduled batch review cycles described in 12VAC5-220-200. If the application is not determined to be complete for the applicable batch cycle within 40 calendar days from the date of submission, the application may be refiled in the next applicable batch cycle.

If the regional health planning agency has not completed its review by the sixtieth day of the review cycle, or such other period in accordance with the applicant's request for extension, and submitted its recommendation within 10 calendar days after the completion of its review, the department shall, on the eleventh day after expiration of the regional health planning agency's review period, proceed as if the regional health planning agency has recommended approval of the proposed project.

In any case in which an informal fact-finding conference is not held, the project record shall be closed on the earlier of (i) the date established for holding the informal fact-finding conference or (ii) the date that the department determines that an informal fact-finding conference is not necessary. See 12VAC5 220-230 A.

In any case in which an informal fact-finding conference is held, a date shall be established for closing of the record that shall not be more than 30 calendar days after the date for holding the informal fact-finding conference.

C. Determination by the commissioner. If a determination whether a public need exists for a project is not made by the commissioner within 45 calendar days of the closing of the record, the commissioner shall notify the applicant or applicants and any persons seeking to show good cause, in writing, that the application or the applications of each shall be deemed approved 25 calendar days after the expiration of such 45-calendar-day period, unless the receipt of recommendations from the person performing as hearing officer permits the commissioner to issue his case decision within that 25-calendar-day period. The validity or timeliness of the aforementioned notice shall not, in any event, prevent, delay or otherwise impact the effectiveness of this section.

In any case when a determination whether a public need exists for a project is not made by the commissioner within 70 calendar days after closing of the record, the application shall be deemed approved and a certificate shall be granted.

If a determination whether a public need for a project exists is not made by the commissioner within 45 calendar days of the closing of the record, any person who has filed an application competing in the relevant batch review cycle or who has filed an application in response to the relevant Request for Applications issued pursuant to 12VAC5-220-355 may, prior to the application being deemed approved, petition for immediate injunctive relief pursuant to § 2.2-4030 of the Code of Virginia, naming as respondents the commissioner and all parties to the case. During the pendency of proceeding, no applications shall be deemed to be approved. In such a proceeding, the provisions of § 2.2-4030 of the Code of Virginia shall apply.

Deemed approvals shall be construed as the commissioner's case decision on the application pursuant to the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq. of the Code of Virginia) and shall be subject to judicial review on appeal as the commissioner's case decision in accordance with such act.

Any person who has sought to participate in the department's review of such deemed-to-be-approved application as a person showing good cause who has not received a final determination from the commissioner concerning such attempt to show good cause shall be deemed to be a person showing good cause for purposes of appeal of a deemed-to-be-approved certificate.

In any appeal of the commissioner's case decision granting a certificate of public need pursuant to a Request for Applications issued pursuant to § 32.1-102.3:2 of the Code of Virginia, the court may require the appellant to file a bond pursuant to § 8.01-676.1 of the Code of Virginia, in such sum as shall be fixed by the court for protection of all parties interested in the case decision, conditioned on the payment of all damages and costs incurred in consequence of such appeal.

The applicants, and only the applicants, shall have the authority to extend any of the time periods for review of the application, which are specified in 12VAC5-220-230. If all applicants consent to extending any time period in this section, the commissioner, with the concurrence of the applicants, shall establish a new schedule for the remaining time periods.

For purposes of project review, any scheduled deadlines that fall on a weekend or state holiday shall be advanced to the next work day.

D. Regional health planning agency required notifications. Upon notification of the acceptance date of a complete application as set forth in subsection A of this section, the regional health planning agency shall provide written notification of its review schedule to the applicant. The regional health planning agency shall notify the local governing bodies in the planning district, health care providers and specifically identifiable consumer groups who may be affected by the proposed project directly by mail and shall also give notice of the public hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in such county or city wherein a project is proposed or a contiguous county or city at least nine days prior to such public hearing. Such notification by the regional health planning agency shall include: (i) the date and location of the public hearing which shall be conducted on the application except as otherwise provided in this chapter, in the county or city wherein a project is proposed or a contiguous county or city and (ii) the date, time and place the final recommendation of the regional health planning agency shall be made. The regional health planning agency shall maintain a verbatim record of the public hearing that includes any comments of the local governing bodies of the health planning district and all other public comments. A copy of the verbatim record shall be provided to the department. Such public hearing record shall be maintained for at least a one-year time period following the final decision on a certificate of public need application. See definition of "public hearing."

E. Ex parte contact. After commencement of a public hearing and before a final decision is made, there shall be no ex parte contacts between the State Health Commissioner and any person acting on behalf of the applicant or holder of a certificate or any person opposed to the issuance or in favor of revocation of a certificate of public need, unless written notification has been provided. See definition of "ex parte."

Statutory Authority

§§ 32.1-12 and 32.1-102.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-30-000 § 5.7, eff. June 30, 1993; amended, Volume 10, Issue 17, eff. June 15, 1994; amended, Virginia Register Volume 13, Issue 07, eff. January 24, 1997; Volume 14, Issue 12, eff. April 2, 1998; Volume 19, Issue 08, eff. February 3, 2003; Volume 20, Issue 26, eff. September 27, 2004.

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