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South Carolina Medical Home Enrolls Thousand

South Carolina Medical Home Enrolls Thousand

Patient-oriented medical home pilot project has finished its initial quarter with total 1100 enrollees. The project is pulling attraction of the South Carolina physicians, who are not engaged in this program as well as interested South Carolina businesses as a resource to manage their healthcare expenses.

The project started in the April. It is focused on the diabetic patients, who are also the members of BCBS of SC, BlueChoice HealthPlan of SC and State Health Plan, or who are patients of the Palmetto Primary Care in Charleston, South Carolina.

Such patient-centered medical homes consider coordinated care management, quality improvement, and patient educational services as the primary care practices. The program places primary care physician in the charge of a team included of pharmacists, nurses, certified diabetic educators, wellness coordinators, dieticians and disease managers. All of them work together to extend and develop individual treatment plan for the patients.

In the initial three months, case managers recruited for this project have made contact with 60% of the qualified patients to clarify this concept, gather health information and to encourage them for using an online portico that have tools helping them to manage their disease as well as facilitate them having “e-visit” with a doctor.

The case managers intend to decrease gaps in care like missed appointments with the specialists, lifestyle affairs like medication adherence. They also conduct outreach like enrolling patients for the diabetic education, fixing appointments with the specialists, giving discount vouchers for the medicines, providing discounted memberships to the local gyms, observing quality methods and results measures to assist increasing patient compliance.

According to Jennifer O'Donnell, the director for quality improvement at the Palmetto Primary Care Physicians, their case managers have been contacting eligible patients. They have been providing patients with extra education and resources. Moreover, they are able to make patients change diet and exercise and also to let them schedule appointments with the doctors before the condition worsens.

The pilot project does not charge any co-payment or additional charge to patients for participating in this program.

Dr. Kirt Caton from the Palmetto Primary Care Physicians and Dr. Laura Long, the vice president for clinical quality and health management at BlueCross spoke to the South Carolina Academy of Family Physicians at the meeting in Litchfield Beach, South Carolina. Dr. Laura Long said that since the controversy about healthcare reform continues, they are on the cutting edge with new look at delivering healthcare. She also said that they have been invited to attend the meeting of business as well as medical societies.

David L. Castellone, the president of Palmetto Primary Care Physicians board of directors said their target is to decrease the discontinuity in healthcare, improve patients' quality of life, and develop better relationships and communications, add focus on measuring continual and quality betterment of clinical results. He mentioned that they are happy to work with Blue Choice Health Plan, Blue Cross, and State Health Plan along with their diabetic members. They believe, this pilot could be a model for the entire state.

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