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TO AMEND SECTION 1-23-380, SECTION 1-23-600, AS AMENDED, SECTIONS 1-23-610 AND 44-7-220, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, ALL RELATING TO REVIEW OF FINAL AGENCY ACTIONS UNDER THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES ACT, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE BOARD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL SHALL HEAR ALL CONTESTED CASES INVOLVING CERTIFICATES OF NEED AND THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW COURT SHALL HEAR APPEALS OF THESE CONTESTED CASE DECISIONS, WITH THE SAME AUTHORITY GRANTED THE CIRCUIT IN HEARING APPEALS OF OTHER AGENCY ACTIONS IN CONTESTED CASES, AND TO FURTHER PROVIDE THAT AN APPEAL FROM THE REVIEW OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW COURT IN THESE CASES MUST BE TAKEN TO THE COURT OF APPEALS IN ACCORDANCE WITH SOUTH CAROLINA APPELLATE COURT RULES; TO AMEND SECTION 44-7-210, RELATING TO, AMONG OTHER THINGS, CONTESTED CASE HEARINGS INVOLVING CERTIFICATES OF NEED AND SPECIFIC PROVISIONS REGARDING THE ISSUANCE OF A CERTIFICATE OF NEED FOR METHADONE TREATMENT FACILITIES SO AS TO DELETE THE PROVISIONS SPECIFIC TO ISSUANCE OF A CERTIFICATE OF NEED FOR METHADONE TREATMENT FACILITIES; TO AMEND SECTION 44-7-130, RELATING TO THE DEFINITION OF TERMS USED IN THE STATE CERTIFICATION OF NEED AND HEALTH FACILITY LICENSURE ACT, SO AS TO DELETE "METHADONE TREATMENT FACILITIES" FROM THE DEFINITION OF "HEALTH CARE FACILITIES"; TO AMEND SECTION 44-7-160, RELATING TO CERTAIN PROJECTS OR PROGRAMS REQUIRING A CERTIFICATE OF NEED, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT CAPITAL EXPENDITURES IN EXCESS OF FIVE MILLION DOLLARS ARE SUBJECT TO THE CERTIFICATE OF NEED PROCESS, TO PROVIDE THAT A CERTIFICATE OF NEED IS REQUIRED FOR THE ACQUISITION OF CERTAIN MEDICAL EQUIPMENT IF THE EQUIPMENT MEETS TECHNOLOGY STANDARDS AND CRITERIA ESTABLISHED IN THE STATE HEALTH PLAN, AND TO DELETE THE PROVISION REQUIRING A CERTIFICATE OF NEED FOR THE ACQUISITION OR CHANGE IN OWNERSHIP OR IN CONTROLLING INTEREST OF A HEALTH CARE FACILITY; AND TO AMEND SECTION 44-7-170, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO EXEMPTIONS FROM THE CERTIFICATE OF NEED PROCESS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT MAY NOT REQUIRE A FACILITY TO APPLY FOR AN EXEMPTION FOR CERTAIN EXEMPT NONMEDICAL PROJECTS, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO REFINANCING EXISTING DEBT, PARKING GARAGES, AND LAUNDRIES.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 1-23-380 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding at the end:
"(C) Review by an Administrative Law Judge of a final decision in a contested case decided by the Board of the Department of Health and Environmental Control must be conducted in the same manner prescribed in subsection (A) for circuit court review of final agency decisions, with the presiding Administrative Law Judge exercising the same authority as the circuit court; however, a party aggrieved by a final decision of an Administrative Law Judge in such a case is entitled to judicial review of that decision by the court of appeals, and appeals must be taken in accordance with the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules."
SECTION 2. Section 1-23-600(D) of the 1976 Code, as amended by Act 202 of 2004, is further amended to read:
"(D) An administrative law judge also shall preside over all hearings of appeals from final decisions of contested cases before the Board of the Department of Health and Environmental Control and before professional and occupational licensing boards or commissions within the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, or as otherwise provided by law, pursuant to Section 1-23-380."
SECTION 3. Section 1-23-610(A) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(A)(1) Except as provide for in subsection(A)(2), for quasi-judicial review of any final decision of an administrative law judge of cases involving departments governed by a board or commission authorized to exercise the sovereignty of the State, a petition by an aggrieved party must be filed with the appropriate board or commission and served on the opposing party not more than thirty days after the party receives the final decision and order of the administrative law judge. Appeal in these matters is by right. A party aggrieved by a final decision of a board in such a case is entitled to judicial review of that decision by the Circuit Court under the provisions of (A) of this section and pursuant to Section 1-23-610(C).
(2) Judicial review of any final decision of an administrative law judge in a case appealed from a final decision in a contested case before the Board of the Department of Health and Environmental Control pursuant to Sections 1-23-380 and 44-7-220 must be appealed to the Court of Appeals in accordance with the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules."
SECTION 4. Section 44-7-220 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 44-7-220. (A) After the contested case hearing is concluded and a final board decision is made, a party who participated in the contested case hearing and who is affected adversely by the board's decision may obtain judicial review of the decision in the
circuit Administrative Law Court pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act. An appeal taken to the circuit court from a decision of the board on a Certificate of Need application has precedence on the court's calendar and must be heard not later than forty-five days from the date the petition is filed.
(B) An applicant whose Certificate of Need application is denied by the board in favor of a competing application
or a party adversely affected by the board's decision shall deposit a bond with the clerk of court for the circuit Administrative Law Court before the filing of a petition to appeal a final decision of the board granting or denying a Certificate of Need. The bond must be secured by cash or a surety authorized to do business in this State in an amount equal to five percent of the total cost of the project or twenty thousand dollars, whichever is greater. If the Administrative Law Court affirms the decision of the board or dismisses the appeal, the court may award to the applicant approved for the Certificate of Need who is a party to the appeal all or a portion of the bond and may award reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred in the appeal. If an applicant appeals only the denial of his Certificate of Need application and there is no competing application involved in the appeal, the applicant is not required to deposit a bond with the circuit Administrative Law Court.
(C) If, at any stage of the appeal process involving the grant or denial of a Certificate of Need, the Administrative Law Court finds that the appeal was frivolous, the court may award damages to the applicant approved for the Certificate of Need in addition to awarding the approved applicant single or double costs incurred in the appeal. In the case of a frivolous appeal of a denial of a Certificate of Need
which that does not involve a competing application, the Administrative Law Court may award costs incurred in the appeal to the department.
(D) As used in this section, 'frivolous appeal' means any one of the following:
(1) an appeal taken solely for purposes of delay or harassment;
(2) where no question of law is involved;
(3) where the appeal is without merit."
SECTION 5. Section 44-7-210(F) of the 1976 Code which reads as follows is deleted:
"(F) The department may not issue a Certificate of Need approval for a methadone treatment facility until licensure standards are promulgated by the department, in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, for these facilities. The department shall convene a study group to revise and propose licensure standards for methadone clinics. The study group shall consist of representatives of the department, the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services, methadone providers in South Carolina, and the Medical University of South Carolina. The licensure standards shall include standards for location of these facilities within the community. Methadone treatment facilities licensed as of January 1, 1997, must not be required to obtain a Certificate of Need pursuant to this section."
SECTION 6. Section 44-7-130(10) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(10) 'Health care facility' means acute care hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, alcohol and substance abuse hospitals,
methadone treatment facilities, tuberculosis hospitals, nursing homes, ambulatory surgical facilities, hospice facilities, radiation therapy facilities, rehabilitation facilities, residential treatment facilities for children and adolescents, habilitation centers for mentally retarded persons or persons with related conditions, and any other facility for which Certificate of Need review is required by federal law."
SECTION 7. Section 44-7-160(3), (6), and (7) of the 1976 Code are amended to read:
"(3) an expenditure by or on behalf of a health care facility in excess of
an amount to be prescribed by regulation five million dollars which, under generally acceptable accounting principles consistently applied, is considered a capital expenditure except those expenditures exempted in Section 44-7-170(B)(1). The cost of any studies, surveys, designs, plans, working drawings, specifications, and other activities essential to the development, acquisition, improvement, expansion, or replacement of any plant or equipment must be included in determining if the expenditure exceeds the prescribed amount;
(6) the acquisition of medical equipment which is to be used for diagnosis or treatment if the
total project cost is in excess of that prescribed by regulation equipment meets certain technology standards and criteria established in the State Health Plan;
the acquisition or change in ownership or in controlling interest of a health care facility or entity owning a health care facility directly or indirectly by purchase, lease, gift, donation, sale of stock, or comparable arrangement if the acquisition or change in ownership or controlling interest may result in an increase in cost to the facility or increase in government-sponsored reimbursement; RESERVED"
SECTION 8. Section 44-7-170(B)(1) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(1) an expenditure by or on behalf of a health care facility for nonmedical projects for services such as refinancing existing debt, parking garages, laundries, roof replacements, computer systems, telephone systems, heating and air conditioning systems, upgrading facilities which do not involve additional square feet or additional health services, replacement of like equipment with similar capabilities, or similar projects as described in regulations and the department may not require the health care facility to apply for an exemption in order for a nonmedical project enumerated in this item to be exempt;"
SECTION 9. This act takes effect July 1, 2006 and applies to Certificate of Need applications filed pursuant to Article 3, Chapter 7, Title 44 of the 1976 Code after June 30, 2006.
This web page was last updated on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 2:07 P.M.