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Certificate of Need Process


The Certificate of Need (CON) Process

The Certificate of Need is an essential part in the process of renovating health care facilities and hospitals. Each State must approve hospital or long-term health provider renovations, capital improvements, mergers or proposed new additions. In the article "State Considers Dropping Certificate of Need Process", John W. Cox, a writer for the South Florida Business Journal, states that the CON procedure ‘limits the number of health care establishments providing identical services within a given geographical market’.

The CON in New York State

New York State was the first to initiate the Certificate of Need procedure in 1970. It was intended to help maintain health care costs. Eventually, it was adopted and then abandoned by the Federal government. The Certificate of Needs greatest value is that it helps maintain costs. Currently, 38 states have a Certificate of Need program. Others are trying to improve their Certificate of Need program. The program varies from state to state. In New York, there are three types of CON applications:

l    Full Review for projects over $10 million dollars
l    Non-Sub Review for projects between $3 million and $10 million dollars
l    Limited Architecture Review for projects less than $3 million dollars

Any project which adds beds, establishes a new operator, or adds certain high risk services (open heart surgery, cardiac catheterization, organ transplantation, lithotripsy, or chronic renal dialysis) requires a Full Review, regardless of cost.

Each type application is reviewed differently. The Non-Sub application takes about 60 days to review if the applicant submits all required information. The Limited Architectural review applications are processed within a few weeks.

The Bureau of Project Management manages the CON process for Non-Sub and Full Review applications. Limited Architectural reviews are done directly by the Bureau of Architectural and Engineering Facility Planning.

You can obtain an application for Limited Review by calling the Bureau of Architectural and Engineering Facility Planning. Applications for Non-Sub or Full Reviews are available from the Bureau of Project Management or from your local Regional Office.

Most applications are approved. From March, 1999 to the end of May, 1999, 127 applications were approved.

During the next 6 months, the New York State Department of Health will consolidate the CON process to include all types of projects on one application. The State is also planning to include Office of Mental Health (OHM) and Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) projects in its CON application process. When an OMH or OASAS facility is Article 28, or has a health care component, it must have a CON application filed.

The main criteria for application approval are need, financial feasibility, character and competence of the applicant. The trend in projects earlier this year includes hospital equipment such as CT and MRI scanners, ambulatory stations, diagnostic treatment centers, dialysis stations, and rehabilitation centers.

Questions and Answers:

1)Who can I call for assistance?

Try your local Regional Office. You may call us at 212 529-2090 and ask for Peter Blaufeux for application assistance. We will try our best to help you.

2) Are there any special instructions I should know about the whole process?

Selecting the correct application form for the project is key. Applicants are encouraged to obtain all application forms. Carefully review the criteria to determine the appropriate level of review for your project. The best summary of review criteria can be found on page three of the Full Review Certificate of Need Instructions. Choosing the incorrect application can result in an incomplete application, and/or unnecessary additional preparation by the applicant. For additional assistance in selecting the appropriate application form, contact the Department of Health.

Special thanks to Mr. John Wettergreen of the New York State Department of Health who helped with this article.



Peter Blaufeux AIA Architects
200 Park Avenue South Suite. 1509
New York, NY 10003

Phone: (212) 529-2090 Fax: (212) 529-2193


Michael Domanski, Senior Health Planner
New York State Department of Health
Bureau of Project Management
Hedley Park Place
433 River Street Suite 303
Troy, New York 12180-2229

Phone: (518) 402-0911 Fax: (518) 402-0975


Thomas M. Jung, Bureau Director
New York State Department of Health
Bureau of Architectural and Engineering Facility Planning
Hedley Park Place
433 River Street Suite 303
Troy, New York 12180-2229

Phone: (518) 402-0904 Fax: (518) 402-0975


Regional Office for Westchester, Rockland, Putnam Counties

New York State Department of Health
Office of Health Systems Management
Att: Hospital Unit or Att: Long Term Care Unit
145 Huguenot Street Room 600
New Rochelle, NY 10801

Phone: (914) 632-3701 main number or Long Term Care Unit : (914) 632-3716


Regional Office for New York City

Eli Gorlic, Environmental Unit
New York State Department of Health
Metropolitan Area Regional Office
5 Penn Plaza
New York, NY 10001

Phone: (212) 613-4837


Regional Office for Nassau and Suffolk Counties

Paul Kaczmarek, Acting Regional Director
New York State Department of Health
Office of Health Systems Management
Hauppauge Sub-Office Suite 110
300 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, NY 11788

Phone: (516) 231-1880    Fax: (516) 231-3965


Dominick Testo, Director
Information and Technology Services Group
New York State Department of Health

(518) 402-0911


One private company that manages CON applications is:

HANYS Services, Inc.
74 North Pearl Street
Albany, New York 12207

Phone: (518) 431-7600    Fax: (518) 431-7849

Send email to with any questions or comments about our services or this web site.
Last modified: September 23, 1999