The State Health Facilities Council is a five-member board appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate that reviews, and approves or denies, Certificate of Need (CON) applications to establish or change certain institutional health services in the state. CON applications relate to facilities such as hospitals, nursing facilities, and outpatient surgical facilities, as well as many health care services, such as cardiac catheterization, radiation therapy, and open heart surgery. A CON is also required for certain expenditures that exceed $1.5 million. The State Health Facilities Council typically meets in person in the Des Moines area approximately four times per year—often for one or two full days at a time.
On April 30, 2019, the terms of Council members Roberta Chambers and Connie Schmett expired. By law, a Council member cannot be reappointed to the Council. Governor Reynolds has now appointed Carol Earnhardt of Davenport to fill one of the vacancies. Ms. Earnhardt will serve a six-year term ending in 2025. Governor Reynolds has not yet named an individual to fill the remaining vacancy.
The members of the Council serve on a voluntary basis. They currently receive a per diem of $50 per day and reimbursement for actual expenses, such as mileage and hotel stays. The recently enacted appropriations bill for the Iowa Department of Human Services for State Fiscal Years 2019-2020 includes a provision to repeal the per diem and expense reimbursement for the members of the Council effective July 1, 2019. As a result, members of the Council will now need to fund the costs associated with serving on this volunteer board out of their own pocket.
The Council’s next meetings are scheduled for July 17-18 and October 23-24, 2019. In order to have a project considered during the Council’s October meeting, applicants must file a letter of intent before July 30, 2019.
BrownWinick will continue to monitor developments related to filling the remaining vacancy on the Council and any impact the recent legislative change may have on the Council. If you have any questions regarding the Council or the CON process in general, you are encouraged to contact a member of BrownWinick’s Health Law Practice Group.