Newsroom - October 2014

With Moratorium Lifted, Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration Announces Need for 3,115 new Nursing Home Beds in Florida

Seann Frazier and Jon Rue

Citing the continued growth of Medicaid spending on nursing homes, and with the intention of providing more long term care in community-based settings, the 2001 Florida Legislature prohibited the approval of certificates of need (CONs) for new nursing home beds until 2006. See ch. 2001-45, § 52, Laws of Fla. (creating moratorium codified at F.S., 651.1185, later re-numbered F.S. 408.0435, and now repealed). The moratorium was extended several times. See, e.g., ch. 2006-161, § 1, ch. 2011-135, § 4, Laws of Fla.

However, effective July 1, 2014, the moratorium prohibiting the approval of nursing home certificates of need was lifted. Chapter 2014-110, Laws of Florida amended CON laws governing the review of nursing homes. The new law made the approval of new nursing home beds slightly more likely than in the past (before the moratorium) by lowering the target occupancy for nursing home beds from 94% to 92%. Ch. 2014-110, §1, Laws of Fla. (amending F.S. 408.034(5)). The new law also enabled existing nursing homes to consider relocating their aging facilities to other areas, even if they are located in different sub-districts, and even if the new location is many miles away from the site originally approved for the nursing home. See id., creating F.S. 408.034(6) and (7) and ch. 2014-110, § 2, amending F.S. 408.036.

Though the moratorium has been lifted, the new law includes a cap on the number of new nursing home beds that may be approved in the near term. No more than 3,750 new nursing home beds may be approved between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2017. Ch. 2014-110, § 3, Laws of Fla.

October 3, 2014, the Agency announced a need for 3,115 new nursing home beds throughout Florida's eleven health planning districts. The announcement of this fixed need pool of beds signals a presumption that the additional beds are needed, and likely will be approved. Given the cap on new nursing home beds through June 30, 2017, this may represent the largest pronouncement of need that may be expected within the next few years.

Providers that seek to meet those needs by offering new nursing home beds must file letters of intent announcing their intention with the Agency for Health Care Administration no later than October 20, 2014.

Table of Florida Agency for Health Care Administration's Community Nursing Home Bed Need

For assistance with Certificate of Need Matters in Florida, contact:

Seann Frazier, Partner, Tallahassee Office (850) 681-0191

Jon Rue, Partner, Atlanta Office (404) 420-5536

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