How will we know if these coordinating efforts are working?
"Probably the biggest measure at least in the early stages is going to be readmission rates and preventable emergency room visits," Foster says. "That is the way you identify these patients before they have two, three, four, five readmissions, is that initial admission or the ones who are coming in frequently to the ER."
When asked what healthcare delivery in South Carolina might look like in 10 years from now, Foster envisions regional integrated community health systems and health improvement networks that include hospitals, patient-centered medical homes, and primary care practices that are connected with other human services.
"They won't have to be owned by one entity. You would have some coordinating structure a core group but you pull together all the key resources and have a community-based health improvement network that is looking at the needs of various populations," he says. "Right now this is focused on the resources that will help people manage their own health."