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This page contains an analysis by Health Watch USA on the Kentucky CON Regulations based on conditions in the years 2005-2006. 

#1. Regulations Have Been Tightened for Building Additional Hospitals in Kentucky.

The board of Health Watch USA have reviewed the new Kentucky regulations for building a new hospital and have concluded that they have been severely tightened and have the effect of preventing an additional hospital from being built in Pulaski County and probably in any other part of the State.

The original proposed regulation in 2005 was as follows:

The applicant documents the nearest existing licensed hospital to the applicant’s proposed site has encountered or demonstrated one of the following conditions:

a. Medicare or Medicaid certification was revoked;
b. Accreditation from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations was revoked;
c. A documented history of uncorrected quality control problems which threaten the life, health and safety of the hospital’s patients. Examples may include higher than normal rates of preventable hospitalization, medication errors, or hospital acquired infections; or
d. A historically and significantly higher negotiated rate for providing identical services as similar licensed hospitals.

However, in the final regulations, items (a) and (b) had to have "Final Revocation" and not only in the existing hospital but for all hospitals in the surrounding counties.  This could not possibly be met.  Item (c) was eliminated.   Item (d) has been changed so it includes Medicare and Medicaid revenues in determining if a hospital is receiving too much for services.   Kentucky hospitals have similar payments and for Medicaid and Medicare; and most of their patients have Medicare and Medicare.  Thus, using this data hospitals appear to charge similar prices.  In addition, this criteria has to be breached by not only in the county where the additional hospital is requested but in the surrounding counties.

Other criteria based upon beds and population have been tightened and also must be met by all hospitals in the surrounding counties.

#2  Regulations Have Been Loosened for Expanding Existing Hospitals in Kentucky.

While the new regulations have the effect of preventing additional hospitals from coming into a market, according to the Lexington Herald Leader (March 18, 2006) the new CON regulations make it easier for existing hospitals to expand.

There are a number of requirements to be met for expanding a hospital.  All appear to be based upon the functioning or capacity of the hospital requesting the expansion.  One requirement concerns "Functional Capacity".  Functional Capacity appears to be undefined and thus it introduces discretion in the decision by the Governor's Office.

In 2006, Marymout Hospital in Laurel County has announced it intends to add 74 acute care beds to its current 89 beds and build a brand new facility.   In addition, the Laurel County Campus of SCC has announced a 14 million dollar construction project to add nursing and allied health programs.  This should put to rest any debate regarding whether the region could have supported an additional medical center.  It can.  However, it looks like it is going to be build in Laurel County instead of Pulaski County.

To view the entire proposed and adopted KY Health Care Plan click on the links below:

Click Here To View the Proposed Kentucky Healthcare Plan
Click Here To Download KY Healthcare Plan From KY CHFS ---

Click Here To View the Jan 31, 2006 Adopted Kentucky Healthcare Plan

Click Here To View the May 12, 2006 Adopted Kentucky Healthcare Plan