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Hospice care center—Standards.
The following rules apply to any in-home services agency licensed to provide hospice services, that is or has declared an intent to become additionally licensed to provide hospice care center services.
(a) "Applicant" means an in-home services agency licensed to provide hospice services under chapter 246-335
(b) "Hospice care center" means a homelike, noninstitutional facility where hospice services are provided, and that meet the requirements for operation under RCW 70.127.280
and chapter 246-335
(2) The department shall review hospice care center applications using the concurrent review cycle in this section.
(3) Applications must be submitted and reviewed according to the following schedule and procedures.
(a) Letters of intent must be submitted between the first working day and last working day of October of each year.
(b) Initial applications must be submitted between the first working day and last working day of November of each year.
(c) The department shall screen initial applications for completeness by the last working day of December of each year.
(d) Responses to screening questions must be submitted by the last working day of January of each year.
(e) The public review and comment for applications begins on February 16 of each year. If February 16 is not a working day in any year, then the public review and comment period must begin on the first working day after February 16.
(f) The public comment period is limited to ninety days, unless extended under WAC 246-310-120
(2)(d). The first sixty days of the public comment period must be reserved for receiving public comments and conducting a public hearing, if requested. The remaining thirty days must be for the applicant or applicants to provide rebuttal statements to written or oral statements submitted during the first sixty-day period. Any interested person that:
(i) Is located or resides within the applying hospice agency's health service area;
(ii) Testified or submitted evidence at a public hearing; and
(iii) Requested in writing to be informed of the department's decision, shall also be provided the opportunity to provide rebuttal statements to written or oral statements submitted during the first sixty-day period.
(g) The final review period is limited to sixty days, unless extended under WAC 246-310-120
(4) Any letter of intent or certificate of need application submitted for review in advance of this schedule, or certificate of need application under review as of the effective date of this section, shall be held by the department for review according to the schedule in this section.
(5) If an application initially submitted under the concurrent review cycle is deemed not to be competing, the department may convert the review to a regular review process.
(6) An applicant must provide the following documentation to demonstrate that the applicant's existing patient base is sufficient to support the creation of the hospice care center.
(a) Step 1. Determine the average total days of care provided in the applicant's preceding three years of operation. If the applicant has been in operation for less than three years, assume an ADC of thirty-five to calculate potential days of care;
(b) Step 2. Multiply the above average days of care by the applicant's annual percentage of patients requiring care in settings other than their private home to estimate the number of potential patient days. If the applicant has been in operation for less than three years, multiply the potential days of care by the statewide percentage of hospice patients requiring care in settings other than their private home;
(c) Step 3. Divide the estimated number of patient days by three hundred sixty-five (days per year) to estimate the average daily census for the applicant;
(d) Step 4. Assume a minimum occupancy of sixty-five percent to determine the number of beds the applicant could request in their application.
(7) If applying for more beds than provided for in subsection (6) of this section, the applicant must provide documentation, methodology and assumptions that support the applicant's ability to sustain the additional beds.
(8) The following occupancy requirements apply to all applicants:
(a) The average occupancy rate of the beds in the center must be projected to be at least fifty percent for the first three years following completion of the project;
(b) A minimum occupancy rate of sixty-five percent should be maintained after the first three years of operation; and
(c) If applying to add beds to an existing hospice care center the applicant must document that the average occupancy of the beds in the hospice care center was at least eighty percent for the nine months immediately preceding the submittal of the proposal.
(9) The applicant must document that they can maintain the minimum occupancy rate and still meet the following requirements:
(a) No more than forty-nine percent of the hospice agency's patient care days, in the aggregate on a biennial basis, can be provided in the hospice care center, under RCW 70.127.280
(b) The maximum number of beds in a hospice care center is twenty, under chapter 70.127
(10) Failure to operate the hospice care center in accordance with the application relied upon by the department in making its decision may be grounds for revocation or suspension of a center's certificate of need, or other appropriate action.
[Statutory Authority: Chapters 70.127
RCW. WSR 03-07-096, § 246-310-295, filed 3/19/03, effective 4/19/03.]