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SC Hospitals Push Coordinated Care

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, April 10, 2013

With all of the challenges facing healthcare providers under the Affordable Care Act, it's sometimes easy to forget that progress is being made on common sense care coordination strategies.

This is not to say that there aren't legitimate questions about the efficacy of "ObamaCare" or other healthcare reforms that are designed to slow healthcare cost growth, all of which will be debated for years to come.

However, across the country we are seeing a growing movement toward strategies that identify community resources and pull them together to improve population health.

Rick Foster, MD, senior vice president of quality and patient safety at the South Carolina Hospital Association, spoke with me recently about the Palmetto State's efforts to reduce readmissions and emergency room visits by improving care coordination. "We are trying to look at all the different organizations involved in care transition work," Foster says.

Some of the state's projects are in line with Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation care demonstration projects, including an initiative in the Spartanburg region that starts this month and that will send home health coaches into the homes of chronic care patients within 72 hours of discharge.

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