CareSouth Carolina introduced a new “Population Health Program” to identify health issues in its service areas and look for solutions to create a heathier future for its patients and the Pee Dee community.
The Population Health Program was started in recognition of the shift in medical care to “value-based care.” Value-based care stresses the importance of providing quality care to patients rather than rewarding health care providers for the number of patients they see. Population Health is a tool to help an organization succeed in giving value-based care to its patients.
Through the Population Health Program, CareSouth Carolina is able to look at the health factors and outcomes in an area and collaborate with organizations to come up with solutions that benefit the entire community. CareSouth Carolina has three different teams that help manage an array of aspects in the healthcare spectrum, including Medicaid, Medicare and MLR (Medical Loss Ratio).
“Team leaders are able to look at CareSouth Carolina’s services and what is offered in the community to determine what services our patients need,” CareSouth Carolina Associate Medical Director Dr. Jeniqua J. Duncan said. “Population Health Managers know what their patients need and bring in resources for them. Teams are looking at these populations and promoting preventative healthcare, monitoring chronic conditions and providing healthcare education.”
CareSouth Carolina sets out to help patients understand the healthcare system and promotes preventative care rather than unnecessary emergency-based care.
“We want to be a primary care home for the communities we serve,” Dr. Duncan said. “We want to be the first people you think of when you have healthcare issues.”
As part of the Population Health Program, CareSouth Carolina is working to cut down on unnecessary emergency room visits. A recent report found that six common chronic conditions accounted for 60 percent of 24 million ED visits in 2017; out of that 60 percent —or 4.3 million—were likely preventable and could be treated in a less expensive outpatient setting.
The six chronic conditions used in the analysis were asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, heart failure, hypertension and behavioral health conditions, such as mental health or substance abuse issues.
“We want to help our patients understand the healthcare system,” Dr. Duncan said. “How does a referral work? When do I need to go to the emergency room? When should I be reaching out to my primary care home?”
In addition to providing services to its patients, CareSouth Carolina is working to improve communication internally between its 14 medical sites across rural areas of the Pee Dee.
“We want our employees to know that their work is valuable,” Dr. Duncan said. “Even though it may take an extra step in some cases, we are making sure to chart data and develop strategies to give our patients access to the best healthcare possible. When people understand the ‘why’ behind the ‘work,’ it makes a difference.”
CareSouth Carolina is a private, non-profit community health center delivering patient-centered health and life services in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. CareSouth Carolina operates centers in Bennettsville, Bishopville, Cheraw, Chesterfield, Dillon, Hartsville, Lake View, Latta, McColl and Society Hill.
Services provided by CareSouth Carolina include family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, women services, OB/GYN, HIV/AIDS primary care, dental, chiropractic services, pharmacy, substance-use prevention, geriatrics, social services, clinical counseling, laboratory, 4D ultrasound, X-Ray, migrant services and veterans choice provider.
CareSouth Carolina is a private, non-profit community health center delivering patient-centered health and life services in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. Services provided by CareSouth Carolina include family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, women services, OB/GYN, HIV/AIDS primary care, dental, chiropractic services, pharmacy, substance-use prevention, geriatrics, social services, clinical counseling, laboratory, 4D ultrasound, X-Ray, migrant services and veterans choice provider.