Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 32.1. Health
Chapter 4. Health Care Planning
12/1/2021

§ 32.1-102.3. Demonstration of public need required; criteria for determining need.

A. No certificate may be issued unless the Commissioner has determined that a public need for the project has been demonstrated. If it is determined that a public need exists for only a portion of a project, a certificate may be issued for that portion and any appeal may be limited to the part of the decision with which the appellant disagrees without affecting the remainder of the decision. Any decision to issue or approve the issuance of a certificate shall be consistent with the most recent applicable provisions of the State Health Services Plan; however, if the Commissioner finds, upon presentation of appropriate evidence, that the provisions of such plan are not relevant to a rural locality's needs, inaccurate, outdated, inadequate or otherwise inapplicable, the Commissioner, consistent with such finding, may issue or approve the issuance of a certificate and shall initiate procedures to make appropriate amendments to such plan. In cases in which a provision of the State Health Services Plan has been previously set aside by the Commissioner and relevant amendments to the Plan have not yet taken effect, the Commissioner's decision shall be consistent with the applicable portions of the State Health Services Plan that have not been set aside and the remaining considerations in subsection B.

B. In determining whether a public need for a project has been demonstrated, the Commissioner shall consider:

1. The extent to which the proposed project will provide or increase access to health care services for people in the area to be served and the effects that the proposed project will have on access to health care services in areas having distinct and unique geographic, socioeconomic, cultural, transportation, and other barriers to access to health care;

2. The extent to which the proposed project will meet the needs of people in the area to be served, as demonstrated by each of the following: (i) the level of community support for the proposed project demonstrated by people, businesses, and governmental leaders representing the area to be served; (ii) the availability of reasonable alternatives to the proposed project that would meet the needs of people in the area to be served in a less costly, more efficient, or more effective manner; (iii) any recommendation or report of the regional health planning agency regarding an application for a certificate that is required to be submitted to the Commissioner pursuant to subsection B of § 32.1-102.6; (iv) any costs and benefits of the proposed project; (v) the financial accessibility of the proposed project to people in the area to be served, including indigent people; and (vi) at the discretion of the Commissioner, any other factors as may be relevant to the determination of public need for a proposed project;

3. The extent to which the proposed project is consistent with the State Health Services Plan;

4. The extent to which the proposed project fosters institutional competition that benefits the area to be served while improving access to essential health care services for all people in the area to be served;

5. The relationship of the proposed project to the existing health care system of the area to be served, including the utilization and efficiency of existing services or facilities;

6. The feasibility of the proposed project, including the financial benefits of the proposed project to the applicant, the cost of construction, the availability of financial and human resources, and the cost of capital;

7. The extent to which the proposed project provides improvements or innovations in the financing and delivery of health care services, as demonstrated by (i) the introduction of new technology that promotes quality, cost effectiveness, or both in the delivery of health care services; (ii) the potential for provision of health care services on an outpatient basis; (iii) any cooperative efforts to meet regional health care needs; and (iv) at the discretion of the Commissioner, any other factors as may be appropriate; and

8. In the case of a project proposed by or affecting a teaching hospital associated with a public institution of higher education or a medical school in the area to be served, (i) the unique research, training, and clinical mission of the teaching hospital or medical school and (ii) any contribution the teaching hospital or medical school may provide in the delivery, innovation, and improvement of health care services for citizens of the Commonwealth, including indigent or underserved populations.

1982, c. 388; 1984, c. 740; 1993, c. 704; 1999, c. 926; 2000, c. 931; 2004, cc. 71, 95; 2008, c. 292; 2009, c. 175; 2020, cc. 227, 558, 1271.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.