§ 31-6-2. Definitions.


Title 31. HEALTH



Current through 2019-2020 Chapter 609

§ 31-6-2. Definitions

As used in this chapter, the term:

(1) "Ambulatory surgical center or obstetrical facility" means a public or private facility, not a part of a hospital, which provides surgical or obstetrical treatment performed under general or regional anesthesia in an operating room environment to patients not requiring hospitalization.
(2) "Application" means a written request for a certificate of need made to the department, containing such documentation and information as the department may require.
(3) "Basic perinatal services" means providing basic inpatient care for pregnant women and newborns without complications; managing perinatal emergencies; consulting with and referring to specialty and subspecialty hospitals; identifying high-risk pregnancies; providing follow-up care for new mothers and infants; and providing public/community education on perinatal health.
(4) "Bed capacity" means space used exclusively for inpatient care, including space designed or remodeled for inpatient beds even though temporarily not used for such purposes. The number of beds to be counted in any patient room shall be the maximum number for which adequate square footage is provided as established by rules of the department, except that single beds in single rooms shall be counted even if the room contains inadequate square footage.
(5) "Board" means the Board of Community Health.
(6) 'Certificate of need' means an official finding by the department, evidenced by certification issued pursuant to an application, that the action proposed in the application satisfies and complies with the criteria contained in this chapter and rules promulgated pursuant hereto.
(7) "Certificate of Need Appeal Panel" or "appeal panel" means the panel of independent hearing officers created pursuant to Code Section 31-6-44 to conduct appeal hearings.
(8) 'Clinical health services' means diagnostic, treatment, or rehabilitative services provided in a health care facility and includes, but is not limited to, the following: radiology and diagnostic imaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography (PET); radiation therapy; biliary lithotripsy; surgery; intensive care; coronary care; pediatrics; gynecology; obstetrics; general medical care; medical-surgical care; inpatient nursing care, whether intermediate, skilled, or extended care; cardiac catheterization; open heart surgery; inpatient rehabilitation; and alcohol, drug abuse, and mental health services.
(9) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of community health.
(10) "Consumer" means a person who is not employed by any health care facility or provider and who has no financial or fiduciary interest in any health care facility or provider.
(11) Reserved.
(12) "Department" means the Department of Community Health established under Chapter 2 of this title.
(13) "Destination cancer hospital" means an institution with a licensed bed capacity of 50 or less which provides diagnostic, therapeutic, treatment, and rehabilitative care services to cancer inpatients and outpatients, by or under the supervision of physicians, and whose proposed annual patient base is composed of a minimum of 65 percent of patients who reside outside of the State of Georgia.
(14) 'Develop,' with reference to a project, means constructing, remodeling, installing, or proceeding with a project, or any part of a project, or a capital expenditure project, the cost estimate for which exceeds $10 million. Notwithstanding the provisions of this paragraph, the expenditure or commitment or incurring an obligation for the expenditure of funds to develop certificate of need applications, studies, reports, schematics, preliminary plans and specifications, or working drawings or to acquire, develop, or prepare sites shall not be considered to be the developing of a project.
(15) "Diagnostic imaging" means magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography (CT) scanning, positron emission tomography (PET) scanning, positron emission tomography/computed tomography, and other advanced imaging services as defined by the department by rule, but such term shall not include X-rays, fluoroscopy, or ultrasound services.
(16) "Diagnostic, treatment, or rehabilitation center" means any professional or business undertaking, whether for profit or not for profit, which offers or proposes to offer any clinical health service in a setting which is not part of a hospital; provided, however, that any such diagnostic, treatment, or rehabilitation center that offers or proposes to offer surgery in an operating room environment and to allow patients to remain more than 23 hours shall be considered a hospital for purposes of this chapter.
(16.1) 'General cancer hospital' means an institution which was an existing and approved destination cancer hospital as of January 1, 2019; has obtained final certificate of need approval for conversion from a destination cancer hospital to a general cancer hospital in accordance with Code Section 31-6-40.3; and offers inpatient and outpatient diagnostic, therapeutic, treatment, and rehabilitative cancer care services or other services to diagnose or treat co-morbid medical conditions or diseases of cancer patients so long as such services do not result in the offering of any new or expanded clinical health service that would require a certificate of need under this chapter unless a certificate of need or letter of determination has been obtained for such new or expanded services.
(17) 'Health care facility' means hospitals; destination cancer hospitals; other special care units, including but not limited to podiatric facilities; skilled nursing facilities; intermediate care facilities; personal care homes; ambulatory surgical centers or obstetrical facilities; freestanding emergency departments or facilities not located on a hospital's primary campus; health maintenance organizations; home health agencies; and diagnostic, treatment, or rehabilitation centers, but only to the extent paragraph (3) or (7), or both paragraphs (3) and (7), of subsection (a) of Code Section 31-6-40 are applicable thereto.
(18) "Health maintenance organization" means a public or private organization organized under the laws of this state which:
(A) Provides or otherwise makes available to enrolled participants health care services, including at least the following basic health care services: usual physicians' services, hospitalization, laboratory, X-ray, emergency and preventive services, and out-of-area coverage;
(B) Is compensated, except for copayments, for the provision of the basic health care services listed in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph to enrolled participants on a predetermined periodic rate basis; and
(C) Provides physicians' services primarily:
(i) Directly through physicians who are either employees or partners of such organization; or
(ii) Through arrangements with individual physicians organized on a group practice or individual practice basis.
(19) "Health Strategies Council" or "council" means the body created by this chapter to advise the department.
(20) "Home health agency" means a public agency or private organization, or a subdivision of such an agency or organization, which is primarily engaged in providing to individuals who are under a written plan of care of a physician, on a visiting basis in the places of residence used as such individuals' homes, part-time or intermittent nursing care provided by or under the supervision of a registered professional nurse, and one or more of the following services:
(A) Physical therapy;
(B) Occupational therapy;
(C) Speech therapy;
(D) Medical social services under the direction of a physician; or
(E) Part-time or intermittent services of a home health aide.
(21) 'Hospital' means an institution which is primarily engaged in providing to inpatients, by or under the supervision of physicians, diagnostic services and therapeutic services for medical diagnosis, treatment, and care of injured, disabled, or sick persons or rehabilitation services for the rehabilitation of injured, disabled, or sick persons. Such term includes public, private, psychiatric, rehabilitative, geriatric, osteopathic, micro-hospitals, general cancer hospitals, and other specialty hospitals.
(22) "Intermediate care facility" means an institution which provides, on a regular basis, health related care and services to individuals who do not require the degree of care and treatment which a hospital or skilled nursing facility is designed to provide but who, because of their mental or physical condition, require health related care and services beyond the provision of room and board.
(23) "Joint venture ambulatory surgical center" means a freestanding ambulatory surgical center that is jointly owned by a hospital in the same county as the center or a hospital in a contiguous county if there is no hospital in the same county as the center and a single group of physicians practicing in the center and that provides surgery in a single specialty as defined by the department; provided, however, that general surgery, a group practice which includes one or more physiatrists who perform services that are reasonably related to the surgical procedures performed in the center, and a group practice in orthopedics which includes plastic hand surgeons with a certificate of added qualifications in Surgery of the Hand from the American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery shall be considered a single specialty. The ownership interest of the hospital shall be no less than 30 percent and the collective ownership of the physicians or group of physicians shall be no less than 30 percent.
(23.1) 'Life plan community' means an organization, whether operated for profit or not, whose owner or operator undertakes to provide shelter, food, and either nursing care or personal services, whether such nursing care or personal services are provided in the facility or in another setting, and other services, as designated by agreement, to an individual not related by consanguinity or affinity to such owner or operator providing such care pursuant to an agreement for a fixed or variable fee, or for any other remuneration of any type, whether fixed or variable, for the period of care, payable in a lump sum, lump sum and monthly maintenance charges or in installments. Agreements to provide continuing care include agreements to provide care for any duration, including agreements that are terminable by either party.
(23.2) 'Micro-hospital' means a hospital in a rural county which has at least two and not more than seven inpatient beds and which provides emergency services seven days per week and 24 hours per day.
(24) "New and emerging health care service" means a health care service or utilization of medical equipment which has been developed and has become acceptable or available for implementation or use but which has not yet been addressed under the rules and regulations promulgated by the department pursuant to this chapter.
(25) "Nonclinical health services" means services or functions provided or performed by a health care facility, and the parts of the physical plant where they are located in a health care facility that are not diagnostic, therapeutic, or rehabilitative services to patients and are not clinical health services defined in this chapter.
(26) "Offer" means that the health care facility is open for the acceptance of patients or performance of services and has qualified personnel, equipment, and supplies necessary to provide specified clinical health services.
(27) "Operating room environment" means an environment which meets the minimum physical plant and operational standards specified in the rules of the department which shall consider and use the design and construction specifications as set forth in the Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities published by the American Institute of Architects.
(28) "Pediatric cardiac catheterization" means the performance of angiographic, physiologic, and, as appropriate, therapeutic cardiac catheterization on children 14 years of age or younger.
(29) "Person" means any individual, trust or estate, partnership, limited liability company or partnership, corporation (including associations, joint-stock companies, and insurance companies), state, political subdivision, hospital authority, or instrumentality (including a municipal corporation) of a state as defined in the laws of this state. This term shall include all related parties, including individuals, business corporations, general partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, joint ventures, nonprofit corporations, or any other for profit or not for profit entity that owns or controls, is owned or controlled by, or operates under common ownership or control with a person.
(30) "Personal care home" means a residential facility that is certified as a provider of medical assistance for Medicaid purposes pursuant to Article 7 of Chapter 4 of Title 49 having at least 25 beds and providing, for compensation, protective care and oversight of ambulatory, nonrelated persons who need a monitored environment but who do not have injuries or disabilities which require chronic or convalescent care, including medical, nursing, or intermediate care. Personal care homes include those facilities which monitor daily residents' functioning and location, have the capability for crisis intervention, and provide supervision in areas of nutrition, medication, and provision of transient medical care. Such term does not include:
(A) Old age residences which are devoted to independent living units with kitchen facilities in which residents have the option of preparing and serving some or all of their own meals; or
(B) Boarding facilities which do not provide personal care.
(30.1) 'Primary campus' means the building at which the majority of a hospital's or a remote location of a hospital's licensed and operational inpatient hospital beds are located, and includes the health care facilities of such hospital within 1,000 yards of such building. Any health care facility operated under a hospital's license prior to July 1, 2019, but not on the hospital's primary campus shall remain part of such hospital but shall not constitute such hospital's primary campus unless otherwise meeting the requirements of this paragraph.
(31) "Project" means a proposal to take an action for which a certificate of need is required under this chapter. A project or proposed project may refer to the proposal from its earliest planning stages up through the point at which the new institutional health service is offered.
(31.1) 'Remote location of a hospital' means a hospital facility or organization that is either created by, or acquired by, a hospital that is the main provider for the purpose of furnishing inpatient hospital services under the name, ownership, and financial and administrative control of the main provider.
(32) "Rural county" means a county having a population of less than 50,000 according to the United States decennial census of 2010 or any future such census.
(33) "Single specialty ambulatory surgical center" means an ambulatory surgical center where surgery is performed in the offices of an individual private physician or single group practice of private physicians if such surgery is performed in a facility that is owned, operated, and utilized by such physicians who also are of a single specialty; provided, however, that general surgery, a group practice which includes one or more physiatrists who perform services that are reasonably related to the surgical procedures performed in the center, and a group practice in orthopedics which includes plastic hand surgeons with a certificate of added qualifications in Surgery of the Hand from the American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery shall be considered a single specialty.
(34) "Skilled nursing facility" means a public or private institution or a distinct part of an institution which is primarily engaged in providing inpatient skilled nursing care and related services for patients who require medical or nursing care or rehabilitation services for the rehabilitation of injured, disabled, or sick persons.
(35) 'Specialty hospital' means a hospital that is primarily or exclusively engaged in the care and treatment of one of the following: patients with a cardiac condition, patients with an orthopedic condition, patients receiving a surgical procedure, or patients receiving any other specialized category of services defined by the department. A 'specialty hospital' does not include a destination cancer hospital or a general cancer hospital.
(36) "State health plan" means a comprehensive program based on recommendations by the Health Strategies Council and the board, approved by the Governor, and implemented by the State of Georgia for the purpose of providing adequate health care services and facilities throughout the state.
(37) "Uncompensated indigent or charity care" means the dollar amount of "net uncompensated indigent or charity care after direct and indirect (all) compensation" as defined by, and calculated in accordance with, the department's Hospital Financial Survey and related instructions.
(38) "Urban county" means a county having a population equal to or greater than 50,000 according to the United States decennial census of 2010 or any future such census.

Cite as OCGA § 31-6-2

History. Amended by 2019 Ga. Laws 303, §1, eff. 7/1/2019.

Amended by 2019 Ga. Laws 41, §1-1, eff. 7/1/2019.

Amended by 2018 Ga. Laws 299, §4, eff. 7/1/2018.

Amended by 2009 Ga. Laws 102, §1-8, eff. 7/1/2009.

Amended by 2009 Ga. Laws 8, §31, eff. 4/14/2009.

Amended by 2008 Ga. Laws 392, §1-1, eff. 7/1/2008.

Amended by 2007 Ga. Laws 60, §2A, eff. 7/1/2007.