Wisconsin does not maintain a traditional CON program. Instead, it maintains an approval process similar to a CON program that applies mainly to nursing homes. For this reason, some have deemed Wisconsin a “quasi-CON” state. The state maintains approvals within three broad categories—beds outside hospitals, equipment and facilities. Wisconsin also maintains a moratorium prohibiting hospitals from increasing beds, even temporarily, anywhere in the state. Wis. Stat. § 150.93.
As of May 15, 2020, Wisconsin had not suspended any approval requirements or moratoria in response to COVID-19.
In Wisconsin, the approval process takes up to 135 days. Wis. Stat. § 150.35(3). Applications to increase beds at a facility can only be submitted within 60 days after the department publishes notice that beds are “available” because another facility closed. Wis. Stat. § 150.33(3). The fee for an approval application is equal to 0.37% of the estimated project cost, but no less than $1,850 and no more than $37,000. Wis. Stat. § 150.13.
Separately, Wisconsin maintains a certificate of public advantage program, which is a voluntary program between healthcare providers to share programs, services, personnel, facilities, etc. Wis. Stat. § 150.85(1), (2). Agreements are one way healthcare providers can add flexibility in an otherwise strictly regulated state. Although the agreements are made between healthcare providers, they must be approved by the Department. The Department of Health Services, which approves the agreements, may hold public meetings in certain circumstances upon request of an affected party before deciding whether to grant an application for public advantage. See Wis. Stat. §§ 150.35; 150.85.
|CON?||Number of Approvals||Moratoria||Temporary COVID-19 response:|
|Hospital Beds||No||-||3||No action|
|Beds Outside Hospitals||Yes||1||-||No action|
|Facilities/ Buildings||Yes||4||-||No action|
|Emergency Medical Transport||No||-||-||-|