TWENTY-NINE YEARS AGO IN PUBLIC HEALTH HISTORY
The Health Facilities Planning Act was passed in 1974 to promote the development of a comprehensive health care delivery system that assures the availability of quality facilities, related services, and equipment to the public, while simultaneously addressing the issues of community need, accessibility, and refinancing.
The act established the Certificate of Need program, which was designed to restrain rising health care costs by requiring a permit to construct, modify or establish a health-care facility, thus preventing unnecessary construction or modification. The act also created the Health Facilities Planning Board.
The original board was comprised of 13 members and was responsible for issuing permits for construction of new health facilities and capital expenditures costing more than $100,000. The board held its first meeting on Nov. 14, 1974.
In the first few years following passage of the law, the Department developed and the board adopted an acute-hospital facility plan; a long-term care, chronic disease and rehabilitation-facility plan; standards for modernization projects and new technologically innovative equipment; and criteria for finance and economics feasibility.
Today's board consists of 15-members appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate. Eight members represent consumers and seven spots are reserved for providers. The secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services and the directors of the Illinois Departments of Public Aid and Public Health serve as ex-officio non-voting members.
The Illinois Department of Public Healths's Division of Facilities Development provides staff support for the planning board, which meets eight to 10 times a year.
To obtain a permit, a person must justify that a proposed project is needed and financially and economically feasible. Included in that application review is the opportunity for public comment and a public hearing that provides for community input. The issuance of a permit requires eight affirmative votes by the board.
Entities subject to the act include licensed and state-operated hospitals, long-term care facilities, dialysis centers, ambulatory surgery centers and alternative healthcare delivery models. Facilities operated by the federal government are exempt.
Transactions requiring a permit include construction or modification by or on behalf of a health care facility costing $6.3 million or more; a substantial increase in a facility's bed capacity; a substantial change in the scope or functional operation of a facility; or the proposed establishment or discontinuation of a facility or category of service. In addition, the acquisition of major medical equipment valued at more than $6.2 million or a health and fitness center valued at more than $2.8 million must obtain a permit or exemption.
The act is scheduled to be repealed on July 1 of this year.
... Years Ago in Public Health
A Timeline of the Illinois Department of Public Health