Certificate of Need

South Carolina is one of 35 states that rely on a Certificate of Need law to restrict the overbuilding of costly medical services and help assure that services are located so that everyone, regardless of ability to pay or where they live, will have access to needed medical care. CON laws also help safeguard patient safety and control costs by regulating capital investments in health care and assuring that the provider applying for the service can provide safe and quality health care. CON decisions are made based on what services the citizens of the area need as outlined by the State Health Plan, which is developed by the State Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Without CON, entrepreneurs could build and offer any type of service to those willing and able to pay. This approach would seriously endanger access to services for those who cannot pay.

SCHA supports the existence of the CON process, while recognizing that it is not a perfect process. Over the years, SCHA has worked with lawmakers to improve the state's CON law by simplifying the process, reducing the costs of applying for a CON, and working to ensure that it is applied fairly to all providers. CON decisions should always be based on the best interest of the public, not politics.

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