The State, August 15, 2008

The Department of Health and Environmental Control has decided to allow another vote on an amendment to the South Carolina health plan that will make it easier for Lexington Medical Center to gain state approval to build a heart center. Lexington Medical asked the DHEC to make changes in the state's health insurance plan that would lower the minimum number of heart surgeries a heart center must perform to remain open and maintain quality. Currently, only Providence Hospital and Palmetto Health are certified to perform open-heart surgeries in the region. State officials have blocked efforts to establish a heart unit in Lexington, saying the region does not need a third open-heart surgery program. But Lexington Medical has remained persistent in making its case.

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