Effective August 29, 2019, Nebraska has adopted the 2018 Guidelines for Design and Construction of Healthcare Facilities. See the legislation here.
Construction applies to any facility that is currently licensed under the Healthcare Facility Licensure Act, or that will be licensed under the Healthcare Facility Licensure Act once the construction is completed. All construction for a licensed healthcare facility must meet the physical plant requirements for that specific facility type and must be approved by the Department prior to use and occupancy by the public per regulation.
Construction means a facility or distinct part of a facility in which services are to be provided which is enlarged, remodeled, or altered in any fashion, or is built from the ground up. Minor projects such as repairing or replacing existing materials do not fall under these requirements.
A healthcare practitioner facility as defined under the Health Facility Licensure Act is not required to submit construction plans as they are not required to be licensed facilities.
The facility, as the licensee, is responsible for submitting all of the construction documents.
Answer: Our goal is to approve plans within 10 working days of receipt of either the pre-construction or post-construction documents. However, that time frame may be extended if we receive documents that are not correct and it also depends on our workload at the time of submission as we process our work in the order received.
Question: Why does the state do a walk through on some projects and not the others?
Answer: The individual Program Manager for each facility type makes that determination.
Question: What is the difference between the building inspector and SFM approval for occupancy? Why can't the state accept one or the other?
Answer: Only the State Fire Marshal and/or their delegated representatives have the authority, knowledge and training to inspect and approve building occupancy based on the Life Safety Code and NFPA.
Question: Why can't the architect/engineer send the Notification of project instead of the facility and vice versa?
Answer: The facility as the licensee is the responsible party, therefore, we are expecting the facility to submit the documentation.
Question: Should I send plans on a roll or CD and why do we have to submit plans to two different state agencies?
Answer: Both the DHHS Facility Construction office and the State Fire Marshal's office prefer to receive plans on a CD. You are required to submit two sets of plans for federally certified facilities at this time to meet state and federal requirements.
Question: Does the Completion Certificate need to be signed by facility administrator or representative of facility?
Answer: The DHHS Completion Certificate form is required to be signed by a Nebraska licensed architect or engineer.
Question: Where do I get the forms I need to submit for a construction project?
Answer: The required forms are available on the DHHS Construction webpage.
Question: Once construction has been completed, how soon can we start using the space?
Answer: Depending on each Program Area and Program Manager, a walk through inspection may be required prior to use by the public. If this is a new space/facility, once the walk through inspection is completed, there will be additional documentation needed in order to obtain licensure for this new space/facility. You cannot use the space for the public until the space/facility has been licensed or has been added to the current facility license.
Question: What do we do if we want to submit the project in phases?
Answer: You need to make sure the information submitted (especially the project name) matches what has been submitted initially. You can do ONE Pre-Construction submission listing all of the phases of the project and you can choose to submit Post-construction documentation for each individual phase.
Question: Does the state review the construction plans and if not, why are they sent?
Answer: The Department of Health & Human Services – Licensure Unit does review the plans to ensure the architect/engineers have signed and placed their seals on the plans. The State Fire Marshal's office does a plan review for federally certified facilities for Life Safety Code purposes.
There is no charge by the Department for construction review. There is a fee associated with the Plan Review conducted by the State Fire Marshal's office. Contact their office for more information: http://www.sfm.nebraska.gov/
The Department may conduct an on-site inspection prior to the issuance of a new facility license or prior to use of a newly constructed area of an existing facility. Please contact the Program Manager for that facility type for more information.
DHHS Licensure UnitAttn: Facility ConstructionPO Box 94986Lincoln NE 68509-4986
Nebraska State Office Building301 Centennial Mall South14th & M Streets, 1st Floor
Lincoln NE 68508
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Closed federal holidays.