Georgia looks to South Carolina in certificate of need repeal fight

In its decision to recommend the repeal of certificate of need laws, a Georgia Senate committee made up of lawmakers, healthcare executives, and an insurance industry representative is looking to South Carolina, which signed its certificate of need repeal in October 2023, as a model.

The certificate of need law requires healthcare providers to demonstrate need before building a new facility. The November 2023 committee report concluded that "the problem which Georgia's CON laws were intended to combat no longer exists."

Proponents of certificate of need repeal say that the laws "prevent competition." Some opponents raise concerns that for-profit providers would take away paying patients from rural hospitals. 

South Carolina was the most recent state to take up certificate of need repeal as a legislative priority. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said that patients would benefit from the repeal "when the proven power of the free market is unleashed in our state." The South Carolina repeal will take effect in January 2027.

When the Georgia Senate takes up the committee's recommendations in the 2024 legislative session, they "will utilize South Carolina's model for potential legislation."

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