LIVINGSTON – Officials overseeing an expansion at the Overton County Nursing Home in Livingston have requested another extension for completion of their project – the third such request since work was first approved in 2012.
The current certificate of need is set to expire Sept. 1, and the state Health Services and Development Agency will consider a request later this month to extend that date three months to December. The project includes an addition and renovation of the existing 160-bed facility, located at 318 Bilbrey St., Livingston.
It will be the third such request. Most recently, in February, officials requested a six-month extension, pushing the completion date from March 1 to Sept. 1. According to the Tennessee Department of Health, the extension was requested because of additional design changes required by the state. Another extension was granted in July 2014 to compensate for unfavorable weather conditions and a delay in plan approvals by the Department of Health.
In a letter submitted to the state, officials said this extension is being requested purely “out of an abundance of caution.” It’s likely the work could be completed prior to the Sept. 1 expiration date, it said. The Health Services and Development Agency will vote on the issue when it meets Wednesday, Aug. 26.
“Construction of the project was substantially completed in May 2015. However, a preliminary inspection by the Department of Health at that time resulted in a request for several modifications,” said Dan Elrod, an attorney with Nashville-based Bulter Snow, who represents health care providers with such CON transactions. “The facility immediately undertook the required modifications, which have now been completed. Final inspection is scheduled for Aug. 19…It is entirely possible the project will be completed before the expiration date. Out of an abundance of caution, however, the facility requests an additional extension.”
The project was originally approved in July 2012 with an estimated cost of $6.3 million. When complete, a new building, which will sit behind the existing facility, will house 30 private rooms; overall bed capacity will not increase. According to the state, the beds in the new addition will be Medicaid-certified and will predominately house TennCare patients as well as some private payers. The aforementioned renovations include minor cosmetic upgrades to the current space.
Elrod said the facility addition was designed as a hybrid between a traditional nursing home and the so-called “greenhouse” model, and those design characteristics have “resulted in longer than expected times for plans approval and construction.”