South Carolina launched an ambitious price and quality transparency website in 2014 called SCHealthData.org, aiming to post revenue and utilization data, hospital chargemasters and comparative price data for common DRGS. The state also recently passed a law capping prices a provider may charge for a patient’s medical records. In the 2017 legislative session, however, none of the bills affecting markets and transparency were passed in the Legislature.
During the 2018 session, South Carolina passed the price transparency bill H5038, which allows a pharmacy or pharmacist to inform a patient of a lower cost including cash prices. The legislature also introduced bills that would require disclosure of drug costs (H4490), prohibit pharmacists from providing information on the amount of cost share (S815), and expand the use of telemedicine (H4529). However, none of those bills passed.
The State Database
The Source tracks state activities impacting healthcare price and competition in both legislation and litigation in a searchable database to help stakeholders at the state level understand their legal and regulatory environment as they make efforts to improve access, quality, and efficiency, and reduce costs in healthcare.
LEGISLATION: The Database of State Laws Impacting Healthcare Cost and Quality (SLIHCQ), created by The Source on Healthcare Price & Competition and Catalyst for Payment Reform, catalogues state legislation governing price transparency, provider market power, provider payment, provider networks, and benefit design. The database also includes pharmaceutical legislation beginning in the 2017-2018 legislative session. *Note: Current legislative session bill updates are ongoing. Check back weekly for updates.
LITIGATION: The Source tracks major litigation and antitrust enforcement action by federal entities (FTC or DOJ), state attorney generals, and private parties in the main provider and insurer markets, particularly legal challenges of healthcare consolidation and anticompetitive contract provisions. Additionally, the database contains major pharmaceutical cases including legislation challenges and significant appellate cases.
Search the database across all jurisdictions on the State Overview page, or view and filter existing legislation or litigation on individual state pages. The database allows customized search and filter by keyword, status, and/or key issue category. *Multiple filter/selections enabled. Click here for User Guide.
LEGISLATIVE CALENDARSouth Carolina’s current legislative session runs from 1/8/2019 – 1/13/2020. Bills from 2019 will carry over to 2020 as part of the 2019-2020 legislative term.
FY 2018 BUDGETSouth Carolina operates on a yearly budget cycle. South Carolina’s fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30 in the following year. South Carolina enacted its FY 2018 Budget during the regular legislative session. To view the FY 2018 Budget proposal, click here.
REGULATION & ENFORCEMENT
- In January 2014, the Federal Trade Commission and Community Health Systems, Inc. agreed to a settlement in connection with that provider’s proposed $7.6 billion acquisition of rival health system Health Management Associates, Inc. The FTC announced that the settlement requires Community Health Systems, one of the nation’s largest hospital operators, to divest hospitals and related assets, including outpatient facilities, in Alabama and South Carolina as a condition of the acquisition. Find the FTC case summary and related documents here.
- South Carolina’s CON program was suspended by the Department of Health and Environmental Control after Governor Nikki Haley issued a line-item veto in 2013 eliminating funding for the program. A challenge to the decision to suspend the program was issued by healthcare providers in the S.C. Supreme Court (Amisub of South Carolina, Inc. et al. v. South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Op. No. 27382 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed April 14, 2014)). The court ultimately held that the Department has a non-discretionary statutory responsibility to administer the CON program and enforce the CON Act, notwithstanding the governor’s intention to withdraw funding from the program. The CON program is currently active again; however, the legislature is poised to make legislative changes to the process.