National Healthcare Corp. has filed a lawsuit against the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control over the state's attempt to cease the company's operations in four counties.
The Murfreesboro-based home health and skilled nursing company expanded its license last year when South Carolina's Gov. Nikki Haley vetoed funding for the state's Certificate of Need program. The South Carolina program, like Tennessee's, regulates the number of medical facilities allowed in the state. After the funding veto by Haley, who said the program stifled competition, DHEC suspended the program for one year.
During that time, NHC took the opportunity to expand without the CON application process and received approval to operate home health agencies in Abbeville, McCormick, Newberry and Saluda counties, which all lie west of Columbia, S.C.
"We expanded our territory significantly because the certificate of need was not required, and we received licenses for all of those," said Gerald Coggin, NHC senior vice president.
In April, the South Carolina Supreme Court upheld the CON progra