(The Center Square) — An advocate organization says repeal of South Carolina’s certificate of need laws is “transformational.”
“This is such a significant piece of legislation that passed earlier this year unanimously out of both chambers, which is just unprecedented on something that’s this transformational,” said Candace Carroll, state director for the Americans for Prosperity-South Carolina.
She told The Center Square it will give South Carolinians “more personal options when it comes to their healthcare,” making it “more accessible and more affordable for them.”
“We are already seeing a massive increase in healthcare access across the state of South Carolina,” she added.
Gov. Henry McMaster, his signature already affixed, ceremonially signed the measure to remove the state’s mandate.
S. 164 eliminates the need for most health care facilities to obtain a certificate of need licensure from the Department of Health and Environmental Control before building a new facility. It also applies to entities that want to offer additional medical services or buy certain medical equipment.
The measure establishes a three-year sunset of the requirement for hospitals except in counties that do not have one; there, the mandate is repealed immediately. Observers previously told The Center Square that eight Palmetto State counties do not have a hospital.
Proponents point to announcements of new hospitals as proof the repeal will benefit patients. For example, last month, Trident Medical Center submitted a request to build a $277 million 50-bed acute care hospital on Johns Island.
In a statement, state Sen. Wes Climer, R-York, said, “As a consequence of repealing Certificate of Need, patients will have more choices, will have lower costs, and the people assembled here today worked together to do that not by spending more money, not by creating new programs but by getting government out of the way to unleash the private sector to invest and compete.”