The Charleston County Medical Society has been battling to repeal the Certificate of Need (aptly named CON) Law which has been a big issue in SC for quite some time. This law limits the number of health care facilities, the type of facilities, and the types of service provided based on the state's approval. The hospital systems have fought it for years. It is complicated but protects those with certificates while limiting the building of health care facilities and services provided.
How are COVID-19 and Certificates of Need related? This pandemic highlighted the need for ordinary health care centers, birthing centers, independent surgical centers, facilities for heart attack care, etc. But there were no alternatives to hospitals. Why? Because a CON law is restricting the supply of these!
Now is a great opportunity to make the temporarily lifted CON, put in place by the Governor's Executive Order, to be made permanent. South Carolina's Certificate of Need Law is the ninth most restrictive law in the U.S. "The catch is that anybody who has a Certificate of Need can contest a new application." Why would a hospital want an orthopedic center nearby? They wouldn't and would contest it to keep orthopedic surgery in-house. It's like Lowes stopping Home Depot from opening next door.
Who is suffering in the interim-the public who had no access to more cost-effective, efficient centers with possibly higher quality services? Consequently, the big systems are being protected, encouraging monopolies. The trend in health care centers across the country is mergers, resulting in fewer and larger entities. Rural patients have to go to urban areas to have their needs met.
The current system denies patients the option of a perhaps smaller, higher quality, more efficient venue close to home. This is why Lowes and Home Depot are next to each other - because the public and the companies benefit from the competition.
At this time all over the world, heroes are being made as they work to heal their communities by making important and innovative changes to better serve them during the COVID-29 pandemic.
Dr. Hochman is making real, useful changes with the inventive programs as the current President of the Charleston County Medical Society (CCMS).
Necessity created the inspiration to make it possible to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to doctors in need through the CCMS. A new program was required because the Federal government gave priority to local government agencies and hospitals rather than individual physicians. However, patients were told not to go to the hospitals and physicians were unable to safely see patients without adequate protection.
Doctors were unable to purchase small amounts of PPE for their practices, needing to purchase in large quantities from the supply chain outside the US. But as small practices, we were not able to order the volume of masks, gowns, etc. to have a factory in China take notice. Our ongoing contracts or relationships as longstanding clients had little influence as distributors began to apportion our shipments to bigger entities. Under these circumstances, we were able to see a common goal to the PPE supplies ourselves and had to establish a different system based on individual practices' needs. We required a flexible platform that could be utilized for future demand.
in 10 days CCMS surveyed the needs of its members and launched a website where our members quickly began placing orders for over 300,000 units of required PPE equipment. Dr. Hochman told a friend in Arizona about the efforts in Charleston and its Medical Association began using our platform. By word of mouth, seven states and two independent Associations joined our group. We have now ordered and distributed nearly 2 million units of PPE. Our grassroots movement became the mainstream. In SC approximately 1,000 doctors and clinics have benefited.
Not having a solution established for a panic situation caused a crisis where many problems came to light. In response to that, we have organized a viable platform that will be useful in the foreseeable future. I'm very proud that we developed a solution.
In our country and in thee times why wasn't this predicted with solutions in place? Did this nation and our government get complacent? This multifactorial. There is a lot of retroactive blame in many directions. Maybe we need to begin taking the long view.
In Charleston, an aircraft production company partnered with major local hospital systems to use three of their largest aircraft to obtain and deliver over a million units of PPE to two hospital systems with great fanfare. Why not take it a step further, bring in five million, and share around the state? Essentially we brought in the same million unit amount through our organization with no ballyhoo.
With the creation of this flexible platform being adaptive to the future, doctors can now regain control in areas where they abdicated their leadership. I have become more vocal and very passionate within the CCMS about providing doctors the opprtunity to bring about needed change and correct some legislative issues as well.
"The things I appreciated most: I considered this for 5 years and discussed with Dr. Hochman on several occasions. I never felt any pressure or was subjected to any 'sales pitch'. It was always emphasized that it should be my decision and one with which I would be comfortable. The friendliness of the staff. Every single person I have met in the office has been exceedingly friendly. The emphasis on the availability of Dr. Hochman after the procedures. The timely and thorough communications." - WT
"Dr. Hochman, Kim, and the entire staff have saved my life. I've never had a doctor so genuinely interested in my health and wellbeing. My migraines rule my life, but because of Dr. Hochman's treatments, I am able to have a measure of freedom again. I cannot recommend him enough for migraine treatment. He is compassionate, caring, professional and, frankly, family at this point."
"Dr. Hochman and his staff have been caring for our daughter and treating her Port Wine Stains for over 10 years now! He is a world renowned Dr and in high demand, but the brat part is he LOVES our child and that makes him the best! We consider Dr Hochman and his staff one of our greatest blessing and thank God for them!"
"To be honest, I couldn’t have had a better experience. From start to finish, Dr Hochman and his wonderful staff took the BEST care of me. I had a VERY large basal cell area removed from the side of my nose and cheek. They referred me to a wonderful dermatologist who got me in right away. After the Mohs procedure, Dr Hochman did my repair three days later, right in his own office with a fabulous anesthesiologist and super nurse. And now, twelve weeks later, you can hardly tell anything was done. Beautiful job!" -
"We absolutely LOVE Dr. Hochman! Our 16 month old had a large hemangioma removed from his forehead and you can’t even tell it was ever there! He did such a great job there isn’t even a visible scar. He is honest, to the point and was beyond helpful after hours when we needed him. We are beyond happy we found him!" -Laurie
"Wish I had done my homework [searching for doctors]. Thanks to Dr. Hochman for fixing another’s [doctor’s] mistakes." -Terrie
"If every doctor and staff strives to be as caring and generous as you, the world would be filled with more smiles and laughter. You and your team took care of us as if we were the most important people on earth. We appreciate and value your outstanding expertise and care. Surgery, even elective, is scary. We would like to thank you for making this such an amazing experience." -MW & WB