Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Governor Fletcher Approves New State Health Plan
Changes will help increase health care access, affordability
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher has signed new administrative regulations affecting the establishment and expansion of health care facilities and services throughout the state, beginning on Jan. 31.
By simplifying the Certificate of Need (CON) process and reducing long-standing regulations that restricted growth and competition, patients will have greater access to quality, efficient health care services at a lower price. The regulations are designed to help alleviate current areas of unmet health care need and allow providers more flexibility in preparing for Kentucky’s aging population.
“These new policies provide the health care community with greater flexibility and bring our policy in line with the current health care climate in Kentucky and other states,” said Governor Fletcher. “We believe these regulations will help address health care shortages and ensure that Kentuckians are able to seek the care they need in Kentucky.”
The new State Health Plan and regulations bring an end to the moratorium that prevented the approval of CON applications proposing to establish or expand certain health care facilities. A form of moratorium had been in place for more than 10 years.
Highlights of the new regulations include: making it easier for existing hospitals to obtain acute care beds; allowing further growth of clinical services, such as specialized units for critically ill newborns and treatment facilities for patients in need of physical rehabilitation services; allowing an increase in equipment used for the treatment of cancer; and establishing criteria to determine if additional acute care hospitals are needed now or in the future.
The CON Division is within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS).
CHFS released a draft of the new State Health Plan and other administrative regulation changes on Nov. 29.
“The feedback we received on the draft was vital in allowing us to work collaboratively with Kentucky providers to ensure the best plan for the Commonwealth was put in place,” said Governor Fletcher. “I would particularly like to thank the Kentucky Hospital Association and Kentucky Medical Association for their cooperation and assistance in making these changes.”
The new State Health Plan and other administrative regulations can be viewed at the CON Web site at: http://chfs.ky.gov/ohp/con/