Proposed Changes to Chapter 203 of the CON Rules

Posted by Adam Freed on Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Iowa Department of Public Health has recently proposed changes to Chapter 203 of the Iowa Certificate of Need (“CON”) rules.  The Department’s staff has indicated that the proposed changes are simply the first phase of the Department's plan to revise and update all of the outdated provisions of Chapter 203.  In this first phase, the Department proposes to delete the following existing standards:  (1) the acute care bed need formula; (2) the bed need formula for mentally retarded; (3) end stage renal disease standards; (4) obstetrical services and neonatal intensive care unit standards; (5) designated pediatric units standards; and (6) designated inpatient substance abuse treatment unit standards.  The Department's staff has indicated that these standards are unnecessary because they have rarely (if ever) been used in the evaluation of CON applications. 

At some point following the anticipated adoption of the proposed rule changes, the Department plans to begin holding meetings with stakeholders to discuss the development of new standards to replace the remaining outdated chapter 203 standards.  The planned phase two changes to the chapter 203 rules will likely have a significant impact on how CON applications are reviewed going forward.  It is anticipated that the phase two changes will likely update the following existing standards:  (1) cardiac catheterization and cardiovascular surgery; (2) radiation therapy; (3) computerized tomography; (4) long term care (including the bed need formula); (5) financial and economic feasibility; (6) magnetic resonance imaging services; and (7) positron emission tomography services.  

The Department staff expects the proposed phase one rules to go through the formal rule-making process this fall.  Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding the proposed rules or how they impact your business.