Bill Text: MS SB2028 | 2021 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Health care CON review; party requesting or appealing a hearing on application is responsible for costs and attorney fees.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Failed) 2021-02-02 - Died In Committee [SB2028 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2021-SB2028-Introduced.html

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2021 Regular Session

To: Public Health and Welfare

By: Senator(s) Blackwell

Senate Bill 2028

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 41-7-197, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT ANY PARTY REQUESTING A HEARING ON AN APPLICATION FOR A HEALTH CARE CERTIFICATE OF NEED WHO DOES NOT PREVAIL AT THE HEARING SHALL PAY COSTS AND ATTORNEY FEES, AND TO APPLY THE SAME REQUIREMENT TO ANY PARTY WHO APPEALS AN ORDER OF THE HEARING OFFICER TO THE PROPER COURT AND LOSES ON APPEAL; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

     BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

     SECTION 1.  Section 41-7-197, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     41-7-197.  (1)  The State Department of Health shall adopt and utilize procedures for conducting certificate of need reviews. Such procedures shall include, inter alia, the following:  (a) written notification to the applicant; (b) written notification to health care facilities in the same health service area as the proposed service; (c) written notification to other persons who prior to the receipt of the application have filed a formal notice of intent to provide the proposed services in the same service area; and (d) notification to members of the public who reside in the service area where the service is proposed, which may be provided through newspapers or public information channels.

     (2)  All notices provided shall include, inter alia, the following:  (a) the proposed schedule for the review; (b) written notification of the period within which a public hearing during the course of the review may be requested in writing by one or more affected persons, such request to be made within ten (10) days of the department's staff recommendation for approval or disapproval of an application; and (c) the manner in which notification will be provided of the time and place of any hearing so requested.  Any such hearing shall be commenced by an independent hearing officer designated by the State Department of Health within sixty (60) days of the filing of the hearing request unless all parties to the hearing agree to extend the time for the commencement of the hearing.  At such hearing, the hearing officer and any person affected by the proposal being reviewed may conduct reasonable questioning of persons who make relevant factual allegations concerning the proposal.  The hearing officer shall require that all persons be sworn before they may offer any testimony at the hearing, and the hearing officer is authorized to administer oaths.  Any person so choosing may be represented by counsel at the hearing.  A record of the hearing shall be made, which shall consist of a transcript of all testimony received, all documents and other material introduced by any interested person, the staff report and recommendation and such other material as the hearing officer considers relevant, including his own recommendation, which he shall make, after reviewing, studying and analyzing the evidence presented during the hearing, within a reasonable period of time after the hearing is closed, which in no event shall exceed forty-five (45) days.  The completed record shall be certified to the State Health Officer, who shall consider only the record in making his decision, and shall not consider any evidence or material which is not included therein.  All final decisions regarding the issuance of a certificate of need shall be made by the State Health Officer.  The State Health Officer shall make his or her written findings and issue his or her order after reviewing said record.  The findings and decision of the State Health Officer shall not be deferred to any later date.

     (3)  Unless a hearing is held, if review by the State Department of Health concerning the issuance of a certificate of need is not complete with a final decision issued by the State Health Officer within the time specified by rule or regulation, which shall not exceed ninety (90) days from the filing of the application for a certificate of need, the proponent of the proposal may, within thirty (30) days after the expiration of the specified time for review, commence such legal action as is necessary, in the Chancery Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County or in the chancery court of the county in which the service or facility is proposed to be provided, to compel the State Health Officer to issue written findings and written order approving or disapproving the proposal in question.

     (4)  When an applicant for a certificate of need files its request in accordance with State Department of Health procedures and that project receives staff recommendation for approval, and if an interested party requests a hearing on said project and the hearing officer at said hearing determines that the applicant's request merits approval, then the party initiating the request for a hearing shall reimburse the applicant for all attorney, consultant and other fees related to said hearing.  Reimbursement is to be made in full within ninety (90) days of the hearing officer's decision.  If the interested party decides to appeal the final order and loses on appeal, the same requirement on reimbursing the applicant shall be applied by the court.

     SECTION 2.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2021.


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