2018 Georgia Code
Title 31 - Health
Chapter 2 - Department of Community Health
§ 31-2-7. Rules and regulations; variances and waivers to rules and regulations establishing licensure standards for facilities; exemption of classes of facilities from regulation
(a) The department is authorized to adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to effect prevention, abatement, and correction of situations and conditions which, if not promptly checked, would militate against the health of the people of this state. Such rules and regulations shall be adapted to the purposes intended, within the purview of the powers and duties imposed upon the department by this chapter, and supersede conflicting rules, regulations, and orders adopted pursuant to the authority of Chapter 3 of this title.
(b) The department upon application or petition may grant variances and waivers to specific rules and regulations which establish standards for facilities or entities regulated by the department as follows:
(1) The department may authorize departure from the literal requirements of a rule or regulation by granting a variance upon a showing by the applicant or petitioner that the particular rule or regulation that is the subject of the variance request should not be applied as written because strict application would cause undue hardship. The applicant or petitioner additionally must show that adequate standards affording protection of health, safety, and care exist and will be met in lieu of the exact requirements of the rule or regulation in question;
(2) The department may dispense entirely with the enforcement of a rule or regulation by granting a waiver upon a showing by the applicant or petitioner that the purpose of the rule or regulation is met through equivalent standards affording equivalent protection of health, safety, and care;
(3) The department may grant waivers and variances to allow experimentation and demonstration of new and innovative approaches to delivery of services upon a showing by the applicant or petitioner that the intended protections afforded by the rule or regulation which is the subject of the request are met and that the innovative approach has the potential to improve service delivery;
(4) Waivers or variances which affect an entire class of facilities may only be approved by the Board of Community Health and shall be for a time certain, as determined by the board. A notice of the proposed variance or waiver affecting an entire class of facilities shall be made in accordance with the requirements for notice of rule making in Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act"; or
(5) Variances or waivers which affect only one facility in a class may be approved or denied by the department and shall be for a time certain, as determined by the department. The department shall maintain a record of such action and shall make this information available to the board and all other persons who request it.
This subsection shall not apply to rules adopted by the department pursuant to Code Section 31-6-21.1.
(c) The department may exempt classes of facilities from regulation when, in the department's judgment, regulation would not permit the purpose intended or the class of facilities is subject to similar requirements under other rules and regulations. Such exemptions shall be provided in rules and regulations promulgated by the board.