The Public Health and Health Planning Council: Background

Effective December 1, 2010, Chapter 58 of the Laws of 2010 consolidated the responsibilities and functions of the Public Health Council (PHC) and the State Hospital Review and Planning Council (SHRPC) into a newly established council, the Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC).

Membership

The PHHPC consists of the Commissioner of Health and 24 members. Membership on the Council is required to reflect the diversity of the State's population, including the State's various geographic areas and population densities. The members must include representatives of the public health system, health care providers that comprise the state's health care delivery system, and individuals with expertise in the clinical and administrative aspects of health care delivery, in issues affecting health care consumers, health planning, health care financing and reimbursement, in health care regulation and compliance, and in public health practice. The following specific requirements apply:

  • At least two members must also be members of the Mental Health Services Council;
  • At least four members must be representatives of general hospitals or nursing homes;
  • At least one member must be a representative of each of the following:
    • home care agencies,
    • diagnostic and treatment centers,
    • health care payers,
    • labor organizations for health care employees, and
    • health care consumer advocacy organizations.
  • At least one member must be the chair of the Minority Health Council.

Powers and Duties

The Council's powers and duties are set forth in Section 225 of the Public Health Law (PHL), and more specifically in Articles 28, 36 and 40 of the PHL. As described below, they include the adoption of certain regulations, as well as responsibilities related to certificate of need applications submitted by health care facilities, hospice programs, and home care agencies. In carrying out its powers and duties, the Council is required take into account the quality, accessibility, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of health care in New York State. In addition, the Council may advise the Commissioner on issues relating to the preservation and improvement of public health.

Public Health

The PHHPC is charged with advising the Commissioner with respect to matters pertaining to the preservation and improvement of public health.

Certificate of Need (CON)

The PHHPC is the final decision maker for applications for the establishment of hospitals, diagnostic and treatment centers, and nursing homes under Article 28, home care agencies under Article 36 and hospices under Article 40 of the PHL, as well as for changes in ownership, establishment of health care facility fundraisers, corporate name changes, and changes in certificates of incorporation.

The PHHPC makes recommendations to the Commissioner of Health on CON applications by health care providers certified under PHL Article 28 (hospitals, diagnostic and treatment centers, and nursing homes), Article 36 (home care agencies) and Article 40 (hospices) concerning major construction, specialized services, and major medical equipment.

The PHHPC is required to undertake a comprehensive review of regulations and Council procedures governing establishment and construction of health care facilities, hospice programs and home care agencies and to submit recommendations to the Commissioner in 2016 and every 5 years thereafter.

Regulations

The Council has the power to adopt and amend sanitary regulations, known as the State Sanitary Code, subject to the approval of the Commissioner under 10 New York Codes Rules and Regulations Parts 1-24. The Council also adopts regulations relating to health care facility, hospice, and home care agency public need, establishment, reimbursement, operating standards and structural standards, subject to the approval of the Commissioner.

Privilege Appeals

Pursuant to PHL Section 2801-b, the Council considers complaints by physicians, dentists, podiatrists, optometrists, and licensed midwives who have had their hospital privileges terminated, suspended or denied.

Further Information

For further information or to attend a meeting of the Public Health and Health Planning Council, please call Colleen Frost or Lisa Thomson at (518) 402-0964 or e-mail PHHPC@health.state.ny.us.

If you have questions specific to PHL §2801-b, please contact Gloria Jimpson at (518) 486-9177