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2021 Legislative Agenda

While much of SCHA’s advocacy efforts over the past year have been directed at supporting hospitals and health systems as they respond to the myriad challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we also continue to advance new policies and legislation that supports our member’s efforts to serve their patients and communities.

Remove Barriers to Telehealth Adoption: South Carolina’s telehealth system has grown tremendously in recent years, but several business and reimbursement barriers need to be removed to improve adoption and efficiency in the system.

Build a Behavioral Health System That Meets South Carolina’s Needs: South Carolina lacks a robust, coordinated behavioral health system to meet the needs of the state’s citizens. Improving capacity, encouraging reimbursement for behavioral health services, and building a larger workforce are important steps for meeting this need.

Update the State’s Emergency Laws to Reflect Lessons Learned From COVID-19: A global pandemic like COVID-19 exposed concerns with the state’s current emergency laws, like the Emergency Health Powers Act, that need to be addressed so future emergencies can have a more  efficient response.

Allow Coastal Hospitals More Discretion in Managing Hurricane Evacuations: South Carolina is the only coastal state in which the Governor orders hospitals to evacuate during a hurricane threat. A more effective policy would be to allow the hospitals and local emergency response teams to make local decisions based on the needs of the community and capabilities of each facility.

Reform the State’s Certificate of Need Program: South Carolina’s CON program is an important aspect of health planning in the state, but it has not been updated in several years. SCHA supports broad reform measures but opposes a full repeal of the program.

Health Information Exchange Statewide Strategy: A statewide health information exchange (HIE) strategy is important to patient care and efficient cooperation among healthcare providers. SCHA supports the creation of a taskforce of dedicated stakeholders to develop and oversee implementation of a statewide HIE plan.

A downloadable PDF of this agenda is available here.