South Carolina Senate votes to repeal certificate of need laws

The South Carolina Senate voted Jan. 26 to eliminate its certificate of need program, according to The Center Square.

After a 35-6 vote to ditch the program, the Senate forwarded the bill to the House for its consideration. The House has voted to curtail the program before, but never to eliminate it, according to the report. 

The repeal would remove the requirement for healthcare providers, including ASCs, to receive state permission to build facilities, make expansions or buy expensive equipment. 

Certificate of need supporters say the rules save money by avoiding duplication of services and encourage providers to stay in rural areas. 

If passed, 28 projects worth more than $1 billion awaiting approval could be built, and South Carolina would join the ranks of 12 states that have laws that don't regulate ASCs. 

"We expect the change will result in a period of activity that will settle down over time. As it relates to surgery, hospitals will need to reevaluate strategies for surgeon engagement and alignment," Will Holding, Compass Surgical Partners' vice president of development, said in an email to Becker's. "Many surgical practices around the state will start the planning process around how they can accelerate their level of completion and remain independent if the law is indeed repealed."

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