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Public, Private Entities Join to Advance New Health Care Model in South

September 15, 2014

Columbia, S.C. – Health care organizations in South Carolina today announce the formation of a public-private collaboration called the Patient-Centered Medical Home Alliance to promote the new model of primary care in the state.
 
Involved in the effort are BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina, BlueChoice® HealthPlan, the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (www.scdhhs.gov), the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (www.scdhec.gov), the South Carolina Medical Association (www.scmedical.org), the South Carolina Primary Health Care Association (www.scphca.org) and the South Carolina Office of Rural Health (www.scorh.net).
 
Together the entities represent millions of South Carolinians covered by Medicaid or by BlueCross and BlueChoice® private insurance. They also represent the state’s public health and disease prevention authority, the statewide professional association of doctors, a nonprofit that advocates for health care access in rural areas, and a public-private partnership serving low-income citizens via federally funded Community Health Centers (CHCs) in South Carolina.
 
“Each organization had been reaching out to its own constituencies to support practice transformation to the PCMH model in recent years. Under this new alliance, we will combine efforts to leverage resources, eliminate duplication and increase efficiencies in the joint promotion of PCMHs,” said Dr. Laura Long, chief medical officer for BlueCross, which instigated the collaboration.
 
The first jointly hosted event, open to primary care practices in South Carolina, is a Diabetes Quality Improvement Workshop. It will be Oct. 10 at EdVenture Children’s Museum, Columbia. Attendees may register by Oct. 3 by calling 803-382-5528 to request a registration form. The featured speaker will be Dr. Laura Noonan, pediatric faculty member at Carolinas Healthcare System in Charlotte, N.C. She also is senior improvement adviser for the Charlotte Area Health Education Center, among numerous other appointments. Supported by Novo Nordisk, the event is free and includes lunch.
 
Representatives of the South Carolina organizations began meeting last year to identify parallel efforts promoting the establishment of PCMHs in the state. This year they agreed on a vision, mission and goals.
 
The vision is to improve the health and patient experience for all South Carolinians by implementing the PCMH model statewide. The mission is to provide free technical assistance to primary care practices to help with ongoing, sustainable practice transformation and practice improvement based on PCMH principles.
 
The goals are to help primary care practices in the formal PCMH recognition process; increase capacity for practice improvement by providing educational opportunities; work with electronic medical record vendors to advocate for no cost and enhanced PCMH modules; document and review results of practice improvement; work with academic and training programs to help equip providers to work in an ongoing practice improvement and PCMH model; develop opportunities for providers to share best practices in team based care and practice improvement; evaluate the applicability of the collaborative technical assistance model for specialty practices; and work to influence the medical education system to include patient-centeredness and patient outcomes as part of medical training.
 
A PCMH is a team-based approach led by a primary care physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant. It reinforces and rewards coordination between primary care and other practitioners to monitor patient care. It engages patients in their own care and treatment and is supported financially by insurance companies.
 
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., and operating in South Carolina for more than 65 years, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina comprises more than 40 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health program and Medicare contracts, other insurance and employee benefits services, and a philanthropic foundation that funds programs to improve health care and access to health care for South Carolinians. Also headquartered in Columbia, BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina (www.BlueChoiceSC.com) also is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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