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.
2020 Legislative Session: 1/14/2020 - 1/11/2021 (2019-2020 term). *Current session bill updates are ongoing. Check back weekly for updates.
South 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.
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.