A Possible Reprieve for Hospital Retrofitting Requirements

In February, Hospital Stay posted an overview on California’s seismic safety requirements for hospitals.  That article can be found HERE.  Recently Governor Brown signed SB 90 and AB 113, which in part provide hospitals with a possible seven year extension to comply with the State’s seismic safety requirements.

To qualify, there are some legislative events which must occur first on both a state and federal level. If and when that occurs the seismic extensions set forth in SB 90 last up to seven years, but no later than 2020.  For a hospital to obtain this optional extension, OSHPD must consider public safety when determining whether to grant an extension or length of an extension on a case-by-case basis using the following criteria:

  • Structural integrity of the building based on its HAZUS score. HAZUS is a nationally applicable standardized methodology that contains models for estimating potential losses from earthquakes, as well as other natural disasters.
  • Community access to health care if the hospital building is closed.
  • Financial capacity of hospitals to complete the construction project.

No later than March 31, 2012, hospitals that wish to apply for the extension must:

  • Submit a letter requesting an extension.
  • Specify what the project will be (rebuild, retrofit, other).
  • Specify the time necessary for the project.
  • Submit a schedule detailing the extension work.
  • Specify how the project will stay on track as proposed.

No later than September 30, 2012, a hospital must submit its HAZUS application No later than January 1, 2015, a hospital shall:

  • Submit plans and a schedule for the project identified.
  • Submit a financial report describing the ability to complete the project.

No later than July 1, 2018, a hospital must obtain a building permit for its project, thereby ensuring sufficient time to meet the statutory deadline.