COLUMBIA, S.C. (Legal Newsline) – The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission have recommended that the state of South Carolina repeal its laws that regulate hospital construction and the provision of health care services.
South Carolina House Bill 3250 would narrow the application of the state’s certificate-of-need (CON) laws, ultimately repealing them entirely. The state’s governor, Nikki R. Haley, recently requested views on the bill. The joint statement reflects the view that the state should consider whether CON is in the best interests of South Carolina citizens.
“South Carolina lawmakers have the opportunity to help health care consumers in the state,” Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer of the Antitrust Division said. “CON laws raise the cost of investment in new health care services and can shield incumbents from competition that would benefit consumers and lower costs. Repeal of South Carolina’s CON laws could invigorate competition in this important sector, to the benefit of patients, employers and other health care consumers.”
South Carolina’s CON laws require health care providers to obtain state approval before building new facilities or expanding existing ones. The Justice Department and FTC believe these laws can prevent the efficient functioning of health care markets, ultimately harming consumers.