Bill would no longer require DHEC’s ‘Certificate of Need’ to build new medical facilities

Berkeley County News

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCBD) – A new bill filed by a Berkeley County Representative would eliminate the Department of Health and Environmental Control’s ‘Certificate of Need’ when it comes to building new health facilities in the community.

State Representative Nancy Mace says the ‘Certificate of Need’ law is just no longer needed.

Right now, that law requires DHEC’s approval before the state will allow a medical facility to build or add a service.

Even when DHEC approves the certificate, competitors can use the law to delay the building of new medical facilities.

For example, when Roper St. Francis announced they were going to build a hospital in Berkeley County, Trident Medical Center fought the new hospital in court.

It delayed the new Roper Hospital at Carnes Crossroads for several years.

Rep. Mace says the bill she filed will eliminate the certificate of need altogether, and she believes that can help bring the price you pay at the doctor’s office down.

“What it’s doing is hampering the growth of physician practices and healthcare in the area, and in an era where healthcare isn’t getting any cheaper,” she said, “I’ve asked a question for myself; what can we do in the state of South Carolina to ensure we help bring down some of these exorbitant healthcare costs for consumers?”

Rep. Mace’s proposal is still in the committee phase. It will have to make it through that before it can be voted on in the House and Senate.

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