(a) The building standards published in the State Building Standards Code by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, and the regulations adopted by the state department shall, as applicable, prescribe standards of adequacy, safety, and sanitation of the physical plant, of staffing with duly qualified licensed personnel, and of services, based on the type of health facility and the needs of the persons served thereby.
(b) These regulations shall permit program flexibility by the use of alternate concepts, methods, procedures, techniques, equipment, personnel qualifications, bulk purchasing of pharmaceuticals, or conducting of pilot projects as long as statutory requirements are met and the use has the prior written approval of the department or the office, as applicable. The approval of the department or the office shall provide for the terms and conditions under which the exception is granted. A written request plus supporting evidence shall be submitted by the applicant or licensee to the department or office regarding the exception, as applicable.
(c) While it is the intent of the Legislature that health facilities shall maintain continuous, ongoing compliance with the licensing rules and regulations, it is the further intent of the Legislature that the state department expeditiously review and approve, if appropriate, applications for program flexibility. The Legislature recognizes that health care technology, practice, pharmaceutical procurement systems, and personnel qualifications and availability are changing rapidly. Therefore, requests for program flexibility require expeditious consideration.
(d) The state department shall, on or before April 1, 1989, develop a standardized form and format for requests by health facilities for program flexibility. Health facilities shall thereafter apply to the state department for program flexibility in the prescribed manner. After the state department receives a complete application requesting program flexibility, it shall have 60 days within which to approve, approve with conditions or modifications, or deny the application. Denials and approvals with conditions or modifications shall be accompanied by an analysis and a detailed justification for any conditions or modifications imposed. Summary denials to meet the 60-day timeframe shall not be permitted.
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law or regulation, the State Department of Health Services shall provide flexibility in its pharmaceutical services requirements to permit any state department that operates state facilities subject to these provisions to establish a single statewide formulary or to procure pharmaceuticals through a departmentwide or multidepartment bulk purchasing arrangement. It is the intent of the Legislature that consolidation of these activities be permitted in order to allow the more cost-effective use and procurement of pharmaceuticals for the benefit of patients and residents of state facilities.