State law outlines appeals process for certificates of need

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Involved parties in birth center debate could request new hearings, review in Circuit Court

By Marty Finley

FRANKFORT — Should one of the affected parties disagree with the decision regarding the Visitation Birth & Family Wellness Center’s certificate of need application, they will have a legal avenue to challenge the ruling.

Kentucky state law allows a party to request a new hearing in writing if it disagrees with approval or disapproval of a certificate of need within 15 days of the decision’s notice.

For the request to be granted, the party would have to present significant and relevant information not previously considered by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services or show that significant changes to the “factors or circumstances relied upon by the Cabinet” have occurred. The party also could present evidence that the Cabinet failed to follow its adopted procedures in reaching its decision.

Should the request be granted, a new hearing would be held within 30 days of approval, according to state law.

Aggrieved parties can bypass the process and file a petition for review in Franklin Circuit Court within 30 days of the decision. If a request for a new hearing is denied, state law allows a party to file a petition in Franklin Circuit Court within 15 days of the Cabinet’s rejection.

The hearings for the proposed alternative birth center in Elizabethtown wrapped on Tuesday, but it is unclear when a ruling will be rendered.