Certificate of Need Briefing

Washington Ambulatory Surgery Center Association

WASCA is offering its 2018 members a certificate of need briefing webinar on June 1, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. The briefing is for current members only.


Click here to register.


2018 has seen several significant changes in the certificate of need landscape for Washington’s ASFs.

On January 18, 2018, the Department of Health issued Interpretive Statement No. CN 01-18 regarding WAC 246-310-010(5), the regulation previously adopted by the Department to implement Washington’s certificate of need law and pursuant to which the Department has issued exemptions to ASFs for decades.  That Interpretive Statement drastically narrowed the certificate of need exemption available to ASFs.  A significant threat to the ambulatory surgical industry, the Department’s change in interpretation would force nearly all surgical facilities to obtain a certificate of need.

Through its legal and lobbying staff, WASCA has diligently pursued a legislative solution to this threat to the industry.

At length, WASCA discussed the anticipated impact of the Department’s change in interpretation with Department of Health Secretary Wiesman as well as its impact on the affordability and quality of the state’s health care delivery system and the health of its residents.  While the Department felt strongly that it no longer could establish legal grounds for granting exemptions to ASFs, it ultimately recognized the enormous policy implications for eliminating the exemption.  The Department communicated with the governor’s office and key legislators regarding the need for compromise legislation.

WASCA worked with the Department on a series of draft legislative concepts to find common ground for legislative proposal.  A bill reflecting the agreed language was introduced to the Washington State Legislature on January 19, 2018.  Sponsored by Representatives Eileen Cody and Joe Schmick, House Bill 2894 was intended establish a statutory exemption from certificate of need review requirements for certain ASF.  After HB 2894 met success in the House of Representatives, the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee passed a substitute bill that was not acceptable to the Department or the Chair of the House Health Care & Wellness Committee.  Further extensive efforts to produce compromise substitute language were unsuccessful, and the lack of agreement between the multiple parties that were now involved with the bill caused it to die without a vote on the Senate floor.

Objectives for Certificate of Need Briefing

This briefing will address:

  • The implications of Interpretive Statement No. CN 01-18 for existing certificate of need exempt ASFs and certificate of need approved ASFs;
  • The certificate of need review requirements for new ASFs and ASFs undergoing changes in ownership, management or physical environment; and
  • WASCA’s ongoing efforts related to the certificate of need ASF exemption.