Current Status Bill Number:
3765Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: HouseIntroduced Date: 19970401Primary Sponsor: TrippAll Sponsors: Tripp, Klauber, Davenport, Cromer, Hamilton, McMahand, Loftis and F. SmithDrafted Document Number: psd\7192ac.97Residing Body: HouseCurrent Committee: Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee 27 H3MSubject: Public Hospital Fairness Act, Medical
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ House 19970401 Introduced, read first time, 27 H3M referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
TO AMEND TITLE 44, CHAPTER 7, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO HOSPITALS, TUBERCULOSIS CAMPS, AND HEALTH SERVICE DISTRICTS BY ADDING ARTICLE 10 SO AS TO ENACT THE SOUTH CAROLINA PUBLIC HOSPITAL FAIRNESS ACT AND TO REQUIRE PUBLIC HOSPITALS PROVIDING REGIONAL SERVICES TO ALLOW OTHER ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL FACILITIES WITHIN THE SERVICE DISTRICT TO PURCHASE THE REGIONAL SERVICE AND TO PROVIDE PROCEDURES AND REMEDIES FOR VIOLATIONS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Title 44, Chapter 7 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 44-7-1310. This article may be cited as the 'South Carolina Public Hospital Fairness Act'.
Section 44-7-1320. As used in this article:
(1) 'Affiliate' with respect to any person or entity means a person or entity that directly or indirectly controls, is controlled by, or is under common control of the person or entity, whether through the ownership of stock or assets, statutory authority, contract or otherwise.
(2) 'Facility' means an entity or person that owns or controls, whether through the ownership of voting securities, by contract, or otherwise, directly or indirectly one or more acute care hospitals.
(3) 'Health care service' means a medical service that is provided by an acute care hospital including, but not limited to, a service that is identified separately under a generally applicable coding, listing, or other classification or identification of medical services.
(4) 'Hospital' means a facility that is licensed, staffed, and operated as an acute care hospital. Facilities whose inpatient beds are used solely for subacute care are not considered hospitals for purposes of this article.
(5) 'Offered price' with respect to a regional service of a public hospital means a price, other than a price mandated by law in connection with Medicare, Medicaid, Champus, or another similar state or federal governmental programs, offered or agreed to at any time by the public hospital or any of its affiliates under any type of arrangement which would allow a person or entity to obtain that regional service from the public hospital or any of its affiliates.
(6) 'Public Hospital' means an entity that is a political subdivision of this State that together with its affiliates owns or controls a regional center and two or more other hospitals located within a twenty-mile radius of the regional center. For purposes of this article, regional health service districts and health service districts provided for in Articles 15 and 16 and any similar entities are considered public hospitals.
(7) 'Regional center' means a general acute care hospital, other than a state medical university hospital or a hospital owned by the federal government, with legal authorization (whether by license, certificate of need, or otherwise) for at least three hundred general hospital beds.
(8) 'Regional service' means a health care service that is provided at one or more locations within a service radius of a public hospital only by one or more hospitals of the public hospital or its affiliates when there is at least one acute care hospital located in that service radius that is not controlled directly or indirectly by that public hospital or any of its affiliates.
(9) 'Service radius' with respect to a public hospital means a radius of twenty miles from the location of a regional center owned or controlled by a public hospital or any of its affiliates.
Section 44-7-1370. (A) Subject to the exception in subsection (C), a public hospital that provides a regional service within a service radius of that public hospital and any of the affiliates of that public hospital that provides a regional service within that service radius must allow any other facility with an acute care hospital located within that service radius to purchase the regional service provided within that service radius at whatever offered prices with respect to that regional service as the other facility may select from time to time. An offered price must be made available to the other facility without requiring that a particular volume of services be purchased and, with respect to a regional service, for as long as the respective offered price would have been available with respect to that regional service under the terms of any offer. A facility that purchases a regional service under this subsection is entitled to do so for itself and for the benefit of insurance companies and other entities who pay for health care services rendered to their insureds, subscribers, or members.
(B) Subject to the exception in subsection (C), a public hospital, after receipt of a written request from another facility with a hospital located within a service radius of that public hospital, shall provide in writing a complete, detailed statement of all offered prices, in any form, currently offered, or agreed to or offered or agreed to in the future by the public hospital or any of its affiliates regarding each regional service provided by the public hospital or its affiliates within that service radius. The information requested must be delivered either by facsimile if a confirmation copy is immediately sent by mail or by hand to the person specified from time to time by the facility making the request for information and:
(1) with respect to prices already offered, agreed to, or in effect at the time the request for pricing information is received, must be delivered to the requesting facility within ten days of the request; and
(2) with respect to prices offered or agreed to after the request is made must be delivered no later than simultaneously with the making of an offer of or agreement to that pricing, as the case may be.
(C) This section does not require the provision of prices regarding a regional service or the sale of that regional service to a facility if that facility itself actually provides that regional service at any location within this State.
Section 44-7-1380. No public hospital or any of its affiliates shall explicitly, implicitly, directly or indirectly, impose any condition or conditions in connection with the availability of any discounts or beneficial pricing arrangements for any regional service when the intent or effect of that condition or those conditions is to induce the payor for that service to do anything to attempt to influence, cause, or encourage any person or entity to obtain any other health care service from the public hospital or any of its affiliates rather than any other hospital or other provider which is within the service radius of the public hospital and which is willing to provide or make available that other health care service on the same or comparable pricing arrangements.
Section 44-7-1390. (A) If a public hospital or any of its affiliates violates or threatens to violate the provisions of Section 44-7-1370, a facility that, as a result of the actual or threatened violation, has failed or would fail to receive the benefits of Section 44-7-1370 may bring an action to recover damages or to obtain injunctive relief or both. The trial judge shall award the facility which obtains damages or injunctive relief or both three times the actual damages and reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred by that facility in connection with bringing the action for damages or injunctive relief or both.
(B) An action under this section may be brought in the court of common pleas in the county in which the complaining facility maintains a hospital, has its principal place of business, or conducts business.
(C) The courts are authorized to issue orders and injunctions to restrain and prevent violations of this article, and these orders and injunctions must be issued without bond."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.