Title: Section 400.26 - Health Equity Impact Assessments
Section 400.26. Health Equity Impact Assessments.
(a) In accordance with Public Health Law § 2802-b, applications under Article 28, meeting the criteria set forth in this section, shall include a health equity impact assessment. The purpose of the health equity impact assessment is to demonstrate how a proposed project affects the accessibility and delivery of health care services to enhance health equity and contribute to mitigating health disparities in the facility’s service area, specifically for medically underserved groups.
(b) Definitions. For the purposes of this section the following terms shall have the following meaning:
(1) “Independent entity” means individual or organization with demonstrated expertise and experience in the study of health equity, anti-racism, and community and stakeholder engagement, and with preferred expertise and experience in the study of health care access or delivery of health care services, able to produce an objective written assessment using a standard format of whether, and, if so, how, the facility’s proposed project will impact access to and delivery of health care services, particularly for members of medically underserved groups.
(2) “Conflict of Interest” means having a financial interest in the approval of an application or assisting in drafting any part of the application on behalf of the facility, other than the health equity assessment.
(3) “Stakeholders” shall include individuals or organizations currently or anticipated to be served by the facility, employees of the facility including facility boards or committees, public health experts including local health departments, residents of the facility’s service area and organizations representing those residents, patients or residents of the facility, community-based organizations, and community leaders.
(4) “Meaningful engagement” shall mean providing advance notice to stakeholders and an opportunity for stakeholders to provide feedback concerning the facility’s proposed project, including phone calls, community forums, surveys, and written statements. Meaningful engagement must be reasonable and culturally competent based on the type of stakeholder being engaged (for example, people with disabilities should be offered a range of audiovisual modalities to complete an electronic online survey).
(c) In accordance with Public Health Law 2802-b, applications for the construction, establishment, change in establishment, merger, acquisition, elimination or substantial reduction, expansion or addition of a hospital service or health-related service of a hospital that require review or approval by the public health and health planning council or the commissioner, shall include a health equity impact assessment; provided, however, that a health equity impact assessment shall not be required for the following:
(1) projects that do not require prior approval but instead only require a written notice to be submitted to the Department prior to commencement of a project pursuant to Part 710 of this Title;
(2) minor construction and equipment projects subject only to limited review pursuant to Part 710 of this Title, unless such project would result in the elimination, reduction, expansion or addition of beds or services;
(3) establishment (new or change in ownership) of an operator, including mergers and acquisitions, unless such establishment would result: (i) the elimination of a hospital service or health-related service; (ii) a 10 percent or greater reduction in the number of certified beds, certified services, or operating hours or (iii) a change of location of a hospital service or health-related service; and
(4) applications made by a diagnostic and treatment center whose patient population is over fifty percent combined patients or residents enrolled in Medicaid or uninsured, unless the application includes a change in controlling person, principal stockholder, or principal member of the facility.
(d) A health equity impact assessment shall be performed by an independent entity without a conflict of interest, using a standard format provided by the Department, and shall include:
(1) meaningful engagement of stakeholders commensurate to the size, scope and complexity of the facility’s proposed project and conducted throughout the process of developing the health equity impact assessment, to incorporate and reflect community voices;
(2) a description of the mechanisms used to conduct meaningful engagement;
(3) a documented summary of statements received from stakeholders through meaningful engagement as submitted to, or prepared by, the facility or independent entity. The Department reserves the right to request and review individual statements as submitted, or prepared by the facility or independent entity, while reviewing the health equity impact assessment.
(4) documentation of the contractual agreement between the independent entity and the facility;
(5) a signed attestation from the independent entity that there is no conflict of interest; and
(6) a description of the independent entity’s qualifications.
(e) When submitting an application to the Department requiring a health equity impact assessment, the application must include:
(1) a full version of the application and a version with proposed redactions, if any, to be shared publicly; and
(2) a signed written acknowledgment that the health equity impact assessment was reviewed by the facility, including a narrative explaining how the facility has or will mitigate potential negative impacts to medically underserved groups identified in the health equity impact assessment. The narrative must also be made available to the public and posted conspicuously on the facility’s website until a decision on the application is rendered by the public health and health planning council or the commissioner.
VOLUME C (Title 10)