The state's controversial program to review new medical buildings or expansions will get special attention from state lawmakers.

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Brian White, R-Greenville, said Wednesday he will create a Certificate of Need committee that will start meeting soon to review the program, its funding and regulations, and advise lawmakers on possible changes.

White said he is open to modernizing the process for health care businesses, "(but) we recognize that there are many competing interests that have a stake in the CON program, and this makes finding a quick and simple solution difficult."

The Certificate of Need program requires hospitals and other medical facilities to get state approval to expand or build.

In June, South Carolina's highest court refused to revisit its ruling upholding the program. The state Department of Health and Environmental Control asked the court to rehear arguments because Gov. Nikki Haley vetoed almost $2 million that it needed to run the CON program.

Haley has said the process should be controlled by the free market, and state legislators upheld Haley's veto.

The six-member committee includes two Democrats and four Republicans, including Rep. James Merrill, R-Charleston.

Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.