WEST VIRGINIA LEGISLATURE
2022 REGULAR SESSION
House Bill 4549
By Delegate G. Ward
[Introduced February 03, 2022; Referred to the Committee on Health and Human Resources]
A BILL to amend and reenact §16-2D-10 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to public health; and providing exemptions to certificates of need for certain health care facilities.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 2D. CERTIFICATE OF NEED.
§16-2D-10. Exemptions from certificate of need.
Notwithstanding §16-2D-8 of this code, a person may provide the following health services without obtaining a certificate of need or applying to the authority for approval:
(1) The creation of a private office of one or more licensed health professionals to practice in this state pursuant to Chapter 30 of this code;
(2) Dispensaries and first-aid stations located within business or industrial establishments maintained solely for the use of employees that does not contain inpatient or resident beds for patients or employees who generally remain in the facility for more than 24 hours;
(3) A place that provides remedial care or treatment of residents or patients conducted only for those who rely solely upon treatment by prayer or spiritual means in accordance with the creed or tenets of any recognized church or religious denomination;
(5) A facility owned or operated by one or more health professionals authorized or organized pursuant to chapter thirty or ambulatory health care facility which offers laboratory services or diagnostic imaging to patients regardless of the cost associated with the proposal. To qualify for this exemption 75 percent of the laboratory services are for the patients of the practice or ambulatory health care facility of the total laboratory services performed and 75 percent of diagnostic imaging services are for the patients of the practice or ambulatory health care facility of the total imaging services performed. The authority may, at any time, request from the entity information concerning the number of patients who have been provided laboratory services or diagnostic imaging;
(6) (A) Notwithstanding
provisions of §16-2D-17 of this code, any hospital that holds a valid
certificate of need issued pursuant to this article, may transfer that
certificate of need to a person purchasing that hospital, or all or
substantially all of its assets, if the hospital is financially distressed. A
hospital is financially distressed if, at the time of its purchase:
(i) It has filed a petition for voluntary bankruptcy;
(ii) It has been the subject of an involuntary petition for bankruptcy;
(iii) It is in receivership;
(iv) It is operating under a forbearance agreement with one or more of its major creditors;
(v) It is in default of its obligations to pay one or more of its major creditors and is in violation of the material, substantive terms of its debt instruments with one or more of its major creditors; or
(vi) It is insolvent: evidenced by balance sheet insolvency and/or the inability to pay its debts as they come due in the ordinary course of business.
(B) A financially distressed hospital which is being purchased pursuant to the provisions of this subsection shall give notice to the authority of the sale 30 days prior to the closing of the transaction and shall file simultaneous with that notice evidence of its financial status. The financial status or distressed condition of a hospital shall be evidenced by the filing of any of the following:
(i) A copy of a forbearance agreement;
(ii) A copy of a petition for voluntary or involuntary bankruptcy;
(iii) Written evidence of receivership, or
(iv) Documentation establishing the requirements of subparagraph (v) or (vi), paragraph (A) of this subdivision. The names of creditors may be redacted by the filing party.
(C) Any substantial change to the capacity of services offered in that hospital made subsequent to that transaction would remain subject to the requirements for the issuance of a certificate of need as otherwise set forth in this article.
(D) Any person purchasing a financially distressed hospital, or all or substantially all of its assets, that has applied for a certificate of need after January 1, 2017, shall qualify for an exemption from certificate of need;
(7) The acquisition by a
qualified hospital which is party to an approved cooperative agreement as
provided in §16-29B,28 of this code, of a hospital located within a distance of
twenty highway miles of the main campus of the qualified hospital;
(8) The acquisition by a
hospital of a physician practice group which owns an ambulatory surgical center
as defined in this article;
(E) A health professional, person, or other entity who operates a health care facility, as defined in §16-2D-2(16) of this code, that has been in existence prior to January 1, 2022, and is currently providing health services, including, but not limited to, a hospital, clinic, nursing home, doctor office, urgent care, emergency room, trauma center, or any other services included in the definition of a health care facility shall qualify for an exemption from certificate of need: Provided, That, health professional, person, or other entity who operates the health care facility may change any services provided, either by adding or eliminating services currently provided, including the number of beds, physicians, by acquiring property adjacent to existing facilities, or change the location of the health care facility, as long as the health care facility is relocated within a 10 mile radius of the original health care facility and remains in the same county and shall qualify for an exemption from certificate of need.
(F) Integrated health care delivery systems covered by this exemption shall qualify for an exemption from certificate of need when (i) opening a new physician’s office; (ii) buying an existing physician’s office; (iii) opening a new ambulatory facility; or (iv) buying an existing ambulatory facility.
(G) Any health care facility created after January 1, 2022, that qualifies for a certificate of need, and continues to provide health care services for a period of 10 years, shall thereafter qualify for an exemption from certificate of need.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide exemptions to certificates of need for certain health care facilities.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.