Louisiana maintains a CON program, which it calls a “facility need review” (FNR) program, within two broad categories—beds outside hospitals and facilities. FNRs function the same as CONs. Louisiana also maintains three moratoria that prohibit: (1) constructing new nursing facilities; (2) constructing intermediate care facilities for the developmentally disabled with more than 16 beds; or (3) adding beds to nursing facilities. Notably, Louisiana is one of the few states where the Department of Health decides FNR applications without hearing from an applicant’s direct competitors. In fact, competitors may not intervene during the application process or otherwise participate in the review process. La. Admin. Code tit. 48, pt. 1 § 12501 (A).
As of May 15, 2020, Louisiana had not suspended any FNR requirements in response to COVID-19. Just the opposite, on March 25, 2020, the Louisiana Department of Health suspended review of all pending FNR applications through May 31, 2020. See La. Dep’t of Health, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates. As a result, pending applications were delayed and healthcare providers were unable to expand as needed to respond to COVID-19.
In Louisiana, the general FNR application process takes no more than 60 days. La. Admin. Code tit. 48, pt. 1 § 12501(B). Applications can be submitted at any time and the non-refundable application fee is $200. See La. Admin. Code tit. 48, pt. 1 § 12505(A)(2). If an FNR application is denied, the fee for an appeal is $500. See La. Admin. Code tit. 48, pt. 1 § 12505(B)(5). Competitors are not provided notice of applications, cannot intervene in the application process, and cannot offer evidence or argument as to why an application should be denied. La. Admin. Code tit. 48, pt. 1 § 12505(A).