Georgia requires CONs within five broad categories—hospital beds, beds outside hospitals, equipment, facilities and services. Within these five categories, Georgia maintains 50 specific CON requirements and an additional 31 exceptions. One of Georgia’s 50 CON requirements is a catch-all CON for healthcare facilities. That is, if no other specific CON applies, the catch-all CON requires healthcare facilities to obtain a CON for any expenditure above $10 million. Ga. Code § 31-6-40(a)(2).
On March 20, 2020, Governor Kemp suspended Georgia’s CON requirements to “permit capable facilities to expand capacity, offer services or make expenditures necessary to assist with the needs of this Public Health State of Emergency.” Exec. Order No. 03.20.20.02 (Mar. 20, 2020).
In Georgia, once an application is deemed complete, the Department of Community Health must complete review and issue a decision within 120 days. Ga. Code § 31-6-43(d)(1). Applications can be submitted at any time—except applications for skilled nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities and home health agencies, which can be submitted only when the Department determines there is an unmet need. Ga. Code § 31-6-40.1(b). The application fee ranges from $1,000 to $50,000. Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. 111-2- 2.06(4)(a). Many, but not all, competitors can intervene in the application process and can offer evidence or argument as to why an application should be denied. Ga. Code § 31-6-43(d)(2)(A), (B); Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. 111-2-2.07(1)(h).