The state Agency for Health Care Administration approved an additional 53 letters of intent for 3,115 new nursing home beds and hospice programs.
Thirteen letters of intent from investors were rejected for not meeting the technical requirements, staff said. Here is a list of the new accepted letters of intent (note, new letters begin on line 151).
Most of the 53 new letters are for nursing home beds though there were three new letters of intent for hospice–one in Pasco County and the other two in Hillsborough County.
The interest in nursing home beds is in areas of the state that have experienced large population growth over the last decade, including Northwest Florida, Northeast Florida, Alachua, Marion, Seminole, Orange, Osceola, and Polk counties. There also was need in the greater Tampa Bay area.
The Florida Health Care Association said building the first new nursing home beds in Florida in more than a decade will funnel nearly $500 million into the state in construction costs. Certificate of need expert Sharon Gordon-Girvin said each new nursing home can cost upward of $18 million a facility.
Initially, 137 letters of interest were filed with the state by investors and health care providers that want to enter the long term care business. A letter of intent is a step in the process known as certificate of need. A letter of intent does not lock a provider into filing an application, an expensive process.
To increase competition for the delivery of service, the certificate of need laws provide an extension for investors to file a letter of intent in areas of the state that are competitive for the service.