Rhode Island requires CONs within five broad categories—hospital beds, beds outside hospitals, equipment, facilities and services. The state maintains moratoria prohibiting construction of new nursing facilities or increasing beds at existing nursing facilities. See R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-17-44. The moratoria are currently set to expire on July 1, 2022. Rhode Island further maintains three generally applicable catch-all CONs. Catch-all CONs apply if no other specific CON applies. In that case, the catch-all CON requires healthcare facilities to obtain CONs for projects that will exceed a certain expenditure limit, which is adjusted on an annual basis.
On April 10, 2020, Governor Raimondo suspended CON requirements for hospitals and nursing homes and suspended the moratorium on nursing facility beds to allow providers flexibility to respond to COVID-19 as needed. Exec. Order 20-21 (Apr. 10, 2020). This order was originally set to expire on May 8, 2020, but was later extended through June 7, 2020, Exec. Order 20-33 (May 8, 2020), and was extended again on June 4, 2020, for expiration July 4, 2020. Exec. Order 20-42 (June 4, 2020).
In Rhode Island, the CON application process takes 120 days. 216 R.I. Code R. § 40-10-22.10(K)(1). Applications are only accepted twice each year, on January 10 or June 10, 216 R.I. Code R. § 40-10-22.10(C)(3). The fee for a CON application is $500 for regular review or $10,000 for new or expanded tertiary or specialty care services, plus an amount equal to 0.25% of the total capital expenditure costs. R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-15-10. Competitors can intervene in the application process and can offer evidence or argument as to why an application should be denied. R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-15-6(b)(5).