Certificate of Need (CON) Program Summary
The Certificate of Need (CON) program is a review process used to promote responsive health facility and service development, rational health planning, health care quality, access to health care, and health care cost containment. Project reviews help ensure that the public will be able to comment on the project during its development, that it fits well within the continuum of care, and that the project will meet the public need while preventing excessive, unnecessary, or duplicative development of facilities or services.
The review process involves evaluation of plan narratives, relevant data, and architectural designs to remodel, expand or build health care facilities and add new services. An important part of the review is the public process. During each review, a time period is assigned to receive written public comments and if it is requested, a public meeting is scheduled to receive comments in person. Public comment activities give local consumers a chance to present their perspectives on how the project should be implemented.
The State of Alaska has a vested interest in new health care construction projects and equipment purchases because of the large amount of money the state expends for Medicaid. In CY 2004, the State of Alaska spent $894 million through Medicaid for health care services. $347 million of that amount was paid out to health care facilities that are subject to the Certificate of Need program such as hospitals, nursing homes, and psychiatric facilities. (Source: The Lewin Group and ECONorthwest, Long Term Forecast of Medicaid Enrollment and Spending in Alaska: 2005-2025. Feb. 15, 2006. Page 54)
About half of the amount spent came from state general funds. Demographic projections suggest that Alaskan health care services will expand to meet the needs of a growing population including a much larger senior population. Therefore, circumstances mandate that new and expanded services be planned properly to get the highest quality and most appropriate services possible at the best price.
Certificate of Need:
Alexandria Hicks, Coordinator
voice: (907) 754-3428
fax: (907) 334-2220
Department of Health and Social Services
Division of Health Care Services
Office of Rate Review
3601 C Street, Suite 978
Anchorage, AK 99503-5924