(a) To obtain an exemption under this section a person shall:
(1) File an exemption application;
(2) Pay the $1,000 application fee; and
(3) Provide a statement detailing which exemption applies and the circumstances justifying the approval of the exemption.
(b) The authority has forty-five days to review the exemption request. The authority may not hold an administrative hearing to review the application. A person may not file an objection to the request for an exemption. The applicant may request or agree with the authority to a fifteen day extension of the timeframe. If the authority does not approve or deny the application within forty-five days, then the exemption is immediately approved. If the authority denies the approval of the exemption, only the applicant may appeal the authority’s decision to the Office of Judges or refile the application with the authority.
(c) Notwithstanding section eight and ten and except as provided in section nine of this article, the Legislature finds that a need exists and these health services are exempt from the certificate of need process:
(1) The acquisition and utilization of one computed tomography scanner with a purchase price up to $750,000 that is installed in a private office practice where at minimum seventy-five percent of the scans are performed on the patients of the practice. The private office practice shall obtain and maintain accreditation from the American College of Radiology prior to, and at all times during, the offering of this service. The authority may at any time request from the private office practice information relating to the number of patients who have been provided scans and proof of active and continuous accreditation from the American College of Radiology. If a physician owns or operates a private office practice in more than one location, this exemption shall only apply to the physician’s primary place of business and if a physician wants to expand the offering of this service to include more than one computed topography scanner, he or she shall be required to obtain a certificate of need prior to expanding this service. All current certificates of need issued for computed tomography services, with a required percentage threshold of scans to be performed on patients of the practice in excess of seventy-five percent, shall be reduced to seventy-five percent: Provided, That these limitations on the exemption for a private office practice with more than one location shall not apply to a private office practice with more than twenty locations in the state on April 8, 2017.
(2) (A) A birthing center established by a nonprofit primary care center that has a community board and provides primary care services to people in their community without regard to ability to pay; or
(B) A birthing center established by a nonprofit hospital with less than one hundred licensed acute care beds.
(i) To qualify for this exemption, an applicant shall be located in an area that is underserved with respect to low-risk obstetrical services; and
(ii) Provide a proposed health service area.
(3) (A) A health care facility acquiring major medical equipment, adding health services or obligating a capital expenditure to be used solely for research;
(B) To qualify for this exemption, the health care facility shall show that the acquisition, offering or obligation will not:
(i) Affect the charges of the facility for the provision of medical or other patient care services other than the services which are included in the research;
(ii) Result in a substantial change to the bed capacity of the facility; or
(iii) Result in a substantial change to the health services of the facility.
(C) For purposes of this subdivision, the term "solely for research" includes patient care provided on an occasional and irregular basis and not as part of a research program;
(4) The obligation of a capital expenditure to acquire, either by purchase, lease or comparable arrangement, the real property, equipment or operations of a skilled nursing facility: Provided, That a skilled nursing facility developed pursuant to subdivision (17) of this section and subsequently acquired pursuant to this subdivision may not transfer or sell any of the skilled nursing home beds of the acquired skilled nursing facility until the skilled nursing facility has been in operation for at least ten years.
(5) Shared health services between two or more hospitals licensed in West Virginia providing health services made available through existing technology that can reasonably be mobile. This exemption does not include providing mobile cardiac catheterization;
(6) The acquisition, development or establishment of a certified interoperable electronic health record or electronic medical record system;
(7) The addition of forensic beds in a health care facility;
(8) A behavioral health service selected by the Department of Health and Human Resources in response to its request for application for services intended to return children currently placed in out-of-state facilities to the state or to prevent placement of children in out-of-state facilities is not subject to a certificate of need;
(9) The replacement of major medical equipment with like equipment, only if the replacement major medical equipment cost is more than the expenditure minimum;
(10) Renovations within a hospital, only if the renovation cost is more than the expenditure minimum. The renovations may not expand the health care facility’s current square footage, incur a substantial change to the health services, or a substantial change to the bed capacity;
(11) Renovations to a skilled nursing facility;
(12) The donation of major medical equipment to replace like equipment for which a certificate of need has been issued and the replacement does not result in a substantial change to health services. This exemption does not include the donation of major medical equipment made to a health care facility by a related organization;
(13) A person providing specialized foster care personal care services to one individual and those services are delivered in the provider's home;
(14) A hospital converting the use of beds except a hospital may not convert a bed to a skilled nursing home bed and conversion of beds may not result in a substantial change to health services provided by the hospital;
(15) The construction, renovation, maintenance or operation of a state owned veterans skilled nursing facilities established pursuant to the provisions of article one-b of this chapter;
(16) To develop and operate a skilled nursing facility with no more than thirty-six beds in a county that currently is without a skilled nursing facility;
(17) A critical access hospital, designated by the state as a critical access hospital, after meeting all federal eligibility criteria, previously licensed as a hospital and subsequently closed, if it reopens within ten years of its closure;
(18) The establishing of a heath care facility or offering of health services for children under one year of age suffering from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome;
(19) The construction, development, acquisition or other establishment of community mental health and intellectual disability facility;
(20) Providing behavioral health facilities and services;
(21) The construction, development, acquisition or other establishment of kidney disease treatment centers, including freestanding hemodialysis units but only to a medically underserved population;
(22) The transfer, purchase or sale of intermediate care or skilled nursing beds from a skilled nursing facility or a skilled nursing unit of an acute care hospital to a skilled nursing facility providing intermediate care and skilled nursing services. The Department of Health and Human Resources may not create a policy which limits the transfer, purchase or sale of intermediate care or skilled nursing beds from a skilled nursing facility or a skilled nursing unit of an acute care hospital. The transferred beds shall retain the same certification status that existed at the nursing home or hospital skilled nursing unit from which they were acquired. If construction is required to place the transferred beds into the acquiring nursing home, the acquiring nursing home has one year from the date of purchase to commence construction;
(23) The construction, development, acquisition or other establishment by a health care facility of a nonhealth related project, only if the nonhealth related project cost is more than the expenditure minimum;
(24) The construction, development, acquisition or other establishment of an alcohol or drug treatment facility and drug and alcohol treatment services unless the construction, development, acquisition or other establishment is an opioid treatment facility or programs as set forth in subdivision (4) of section nine of this article;
(25) Assisted living facilities and services;
(26) The creation, construction, acquisition or expansion of a community-based nonprofit organization with a community board that provides or will provide primary care services to people without regard to ability to pay and receives approval from the Health Resources and Services Administration; and
(27) The acquisition and utilization of one computed tomography scanner and/or one magnetic resonance imaging scanner with a purchase price of up to $750,000 by a hospital.