1. a. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 7 of P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-7) to the contrary, a nursing home which is affiliated with a well established religious body or denomination and reserves at least 65% of its licensed bed capacity for patients who are members of that religious body or denomination is exempt from the requirement of obtaining a certificate of need if the nursing home is in compliance with all State regulations governing its licensure.
b. A nursing home which is exempt from the certificate of need requirement pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall be required to meet the Statewide average for the percentage of beds that are to be reserved for patients who are eligible for medical assistance pursuant to P.L.1968, c.413 (C.30:4D-1 et seq.).