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Date ArticleType
1/2/2018 Regulatory
Health Facilities Task Force Update - December 2017

The Indiana Health Care Facilities Task Force (“Task Force”) met once again this week to continue their discussion of recommending the state:  1) Validate the use of nationally-recognized third party accreditation organizations to survey health care facilities, and 2) adopt updated FGI Guidelines.  As a reminder, Senate Enrolled Act 112 from the 2017 legislative session established the Task Force to study and review the current surveying process for hospital and health facility licensure and submit a report to the Governor and the Legislative Council setting forth the Task Force's findings and recommendations not later than August 31, 2018.

With regard to the topic of validating the use of nationally-recognized third party organizations, the Joint Commission previously presented to the Task Force, and on Monday, December 18th, the Task Force heard from the Health Facilities Accreditation Program (“HFAP”).  A summary of HFAP’s processes can be found here.

The Task Force then clarified that should the state validate the use of nationally-recognized third party accreditation organizations, the state can still require health care facilities to meet additional state standards.  Those standards would be layered on top of CMS standards and surveyed simultaneously by the third-party accreditation organization. 

The Task Force will vote in January 2018 on whether to recommend the state validate the use of nationally-recognized third party accreditation organizations.  The recommendation is likely to pass, and should the state ultimately validate the use of nationally-recognized third party accreditation organizations, the transition would take approximately eighteen (18) months.

 The Task Force then revisited the topic of the 2018 FGI Guidelines.  Indiana is currently operating under the 2001 FGI Guidelines, and a map of the FGI Guidelines adopted by state can be found here.

In determining whether to recommend the state adopt the 2018 FGI Guidelines, the Task Force reviewed the major differences between the 2014 FGI Guidelines and the 2018 FGI Guidelines, which include the design of telemedicine and surgical suites, emergency preparedness provisions, pre- and post-patient care areas (the 2018 FGI Guidelines will permit those areas to be combined), etc.  A summary of the differences between the 2014 FGI Guidelines and the 2018 FGI Guidelines for both hospitals and residential care facilities can be found here, and here, respectively.

Finally, the Task Force considered the operational and capital cost impact of the new guidelines. Although the ultimate impact of the 2018 FGI Guidelines will not be fully known until March 2018, the Task Force utilized a cost comparison of the 2010 FGI Guidelines and the 2014 FGI Guidelines as reference, available here. As you will note, the 2014 FGI Guidelines resulted in small increases to cost, while the 2018 FGI Guidelines are expected to result in even smaller increases to cost due to the recognition that pre- and post-patient care may be combined in the same area.

The Task Force will vote in April 2018 on whether to recommend the state adopt the 2018 FGI Guidelines.  The recommendation is likely to pass, and should the state ultimately adopt the 2018 FGI Guidelines, the state would allow for a six (6) month implementation period, and the 2018 FGI Guidelines would only apply to new construction or significant changes to a health care facility.

Any public comments regarding these two proposed recommendations may be submitted prior to the January meeting to Terry Whitson at  twhitson@isdh.in.gov The January meeting will be held on Thursday, January 25, 2018, from 1:00 to 2:30 PM at the Indiana State Department of Health, 3rd Floor. 

 If you have questions, please email ldavenport@ihca.org.

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