May 2, 2022
To the Members of the House of Representatives,
As you consider S290, the bill that addresses the Certificate of Need (CON) regulations we ask that you keep in mind those to whom this matters most: the people of South Carolina – your constituents, our patients.
By voting to repeal CON you would be on the side of patients who for 40 years have suffered the consequences of CON. Remember, of the five things CON was to do NOT A SINGLE ONE HAS COME TO FRUITION. Our State has consistently made the bottom of lists with regard to availability of alternatives to hospital owned/based services; quality of care; affordably priced care and rural access to healthcare. Racial disparities have been exacerbated directly by CON and the amount of true charity care in South Carolina is abysmal. Your constituents, our patients, have suffered enough.
By voting to repeal CON you would be on the side of patients who had babies in hospitals during the COVID pandemic because we don’t have independent birthing centers; of patients with psychiatric illnesses who didn’t receive care because we lack residential centers; of patients whose minor and cancer surgeries were foregone because we rank near the bottom nationally in availability of ambulatory surgery centers. The list goes on for the state with the ninth most restrictive CON laws in the country. And your constituents suffer.
During these last few years, the only testimony in favor of maintaining the staus quo has come from those who already have a CON certificate in hand and are benefitting from its protection. On behalf of our patients, the Doctors of the Charleston County Medical Society are extremely grateful for the legislative support we have enjoyed and are proud of our role in bringing this matter to your attention.
We respectfully ask you vote to repeal CON. You, your families, your constituents are all PATIENTS and deserve better.
Marcelo Hochman MD Cleave Ham MD
Immediate Past President President
Charleston County Medical Society