The state has received 67 notifications about proposed projects for new or expanded nursing homes, hospice programs and facilities for people with developmental disabilities.
More than half of the letters of intent submitted to the state Agency for Health Care Administration last week were for projects to build nursing homes or add nursing-home beds.
The state received 38 letters of intent for nursing home projects in 15 counties. The greatest interest came in St. Johns County, where six letters of intent were submitted for nursing-facility projects. Citrus and Pinellas counties also garnered heavy attention, with the state receiving five letters of intent for new nursing home beds and projects in each county. Florida requires so-called certificates of need for the construction of certain health care facilities, including nursing homes, hospices and intermediate care facilities for people with developmental disabilities.
Obtaining a CON from the state can be a laborious effort. Part of the process requires investors and interested parties submitting letters of intent to the state, notifying regulators of their plans to build projects. While letters of intent are a required step in the CON process, they aren’t binding. Parties that want to move ahead with new construction are required to submit CON applications.
Florida lawmakers earlier this year eliminated the CON process for new hospital construction and beds and certain services --- such as organ transplants --- but kept the requirement for other facilities.
In the new filings, Alachua County attracted the most interest for hospice projects, with seven letters of intent. Also, Sunrise Community, Inc., submitted four CON letters of intent for intermediate care facility beds in Hillsborough County. Each letter said the provider wants to relocate six beds