by Renee Dudley -- The Post and Courier
South Carolina uses the "certificate of need" program to decide which medical facilities should be built. The exercise is intended to ensure that areas have enough hospitals without duplicating services.
The program has been criticized by an independent, non-partisan group -- the Center for Studying Health System Change. The group this year said the "certificate of need" program can be "highly subjective" and is "influenced heavily by political relationships … rather than policy objectives."
State certificate of need officials approved two proposals to build hospitals in Berkeley County in June 2009. Trident Health System won approval to add a 50-bed hospital to its network in Moncks Corner. Roper St. Francis Healthcare won approval to permanently transfer 50 beds from its downtown hospital to Goose Creek.
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