South Carolina eliminates certificate of need laws

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster held a ceremonial signing on Oct. 3 to repeal the state's certificate of need law, which has been on the books since the 1970s, according to an Oct. 3 report from local news station WCSC.

The bill, titled the Healthcare Facility Licensure Act, will get rid of the requirement that anyone who wants to build a hospital or health facility must seek permission through the  Department of Health and Environmental Control.  

The state Senate passed the bill earlier this year, with the state House approving an amended version in May. Under the bill, most provisions will go into effect immediately, and already proposed healthcare facilities will no longer require state approval. 

The legislation also repeals a $600,000 equipment purchase cap for hospitals, allows moving a hospital to a new facility in the same county and allows hospitals to be built in the eight South Carolina counties that do not currently have them. 

The bill would temporarily keep in place the requirement that new hospitals receive state approval in counties where a hospital already exists. That requirement will be repealed on Jan. 1, 2027. 

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