SENATE, No. 2844






Sponsored by:


District 19 (Middlesex)


District 27 (Essex and Morris)


Co-Sponsored by:

Senator Gordon






     Eliminates certificate of need requirement for inpatient hospital beds for treatment of psychiatric and substance use disorder dual diagnosis.



     As introduced.


An Act concerning certificate of need requirements and amending P.L.1992, c.160.


     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


     1.    Section 19 of P.L.1992, 160 (C.26:2H-7a) is amended to read as follows:

     19.  Notwithstanding the provisions of section 7 of P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-7) to the contrary, the following are exempt from the certificate of need requirement:

     Community-based primary care centers;

     Outpatient drug and alcohol services;

     Hospital-based medical detoxification for drugs and alcohol;

     Ambulance and invalid coach services;

     Mental health services which are non-bed related outpatient services;

     Residential health care facility services;

     Dementia care homes;

     Capital improvements and renovations to health care facilities;

     Additions of medical/surgical, adult intensive care and adult critical care beds in hospitals;

     Inpatient special psychiatric beds designated for services for patients with psychiatric/substance use disorder dual diagnoses;

     Replacement of existing major moveable equipment;

     Inpatient operating rooms;

     Alternate family care programs;

     Hospital-based subacute care;

     Ambulatory care facilities;

     Comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation services;

     Special child health clinics;

     New technology in accordance with the provisions of section 18 of P.L.1998, c.43 (C.26:2H-7d);

     Transfer of ownership interest except in the case of an acute care hospital;

     Change of site for approved certificate of need within the same county;

     Additions to vehicles or hours of operation of a mobile intensive care unit;

     Relocation or replacement of a health care facility within the same county, except for an acute care hospital;

     Continuing care retirement communities authorized pursuant to P.L.1986, c.103 (C.52:27D-330 et seq.);

     Magnetic resonance imaging;

     Adult day health care facilities;

     Pediatric day health care facilities;

     Chronic or acute renal dialysis facilities; and

     Transfer of ownership of a hospital to an authority in accordance with P.L.2006, c.46 (C.30:9-23.15 et al.).

(cf: P.L.2015, c.125, s.2)


     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.





     This bill would eliminate the requirement that a health care facility obtain a certificate of need from the Department of Health (DOH) to develop inpatient treatment beds for treatment of patients who have both a psychiatric and a substance use disorder.

     It is common for psychiatric diagnoses and substance use disorders to co-occur in the same individual, but New Jersey lacks sufficient capacity to provide necessary treatment for these individuals.  Current law permits the development of substance use disorder treatment beds without a certificate of need, but requires prior permission from the DOH to develop psychiatric or dual diagnosis beds.  There has been no call for applications for such a certificate of need in over a decade.

     The current opioid crisis highlights the need to expand treatment capacity in New Jersey.  Recent changes in federal and State law, including the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the Affordable Care Act, have expanded government and private health insurance coverage for mental health and substance use disorder treatment, making such services more financially sustainable.  This bill hopes to improve the availability of treatment to individuals in need of both mental health and substance use treatment.