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Low Country Rural Health Network


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Low Country Rural Health Network

  1. 1. Serving Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell and Hampton counties
  2. 2.  Mission  To affect positive change in the access, delivery, availability, and affordability of quality health care and support the delivery of these benefits to the residents of the Low Country.  Vision  To provide a vertically integrated delivery system that respects member autonomy while focusing on “common ground” issues which enhance health services, promote healthier communities, accommodate changing conditions throughout the service area and reduce member operating costs.
  3. 3. Not-for-profit, 501©(3) organization formed in 1998 Network Members – each member has a seat on Board of Directors and include:  Allendale County Hospital, CEO  Bamberg County Hospital & Nursing Center, CEO  Barnwell County Hospital, CEO  Hampton Regional Medical Center, CEO  Low Country Health Care System, Executive Director  Public Health Departments, District Director  SC Office of Rural Health, Executive Director (partner) New members: USC Salkehatchie (Dean) & Harrison Peeples Rural Health Clinic (NP)
  4. 4. Allendale – 11,000 population Uninsured – 38% Ranks lowest in the state among % of families living below poverty level Per capita income is lowest in state at $7,458 Critical Access Hospital Bamberg - 16,900 population Uninsured - 39% Barnwell - 23,000 population Uninsured – 28.9% Hampton - 21,000 population Uninsured – 38.3% Total Population of service area: 72,000 Based on 2000 census, 34,803 person have incomes below 200% poverty in 4 county area
  5. 5.  Allendale County Hospital – Aiken – Augusta - Walterboro -Charleston  Bamberg County Hospital – Orangeburg – Columbia (little bit to Charleston)  Barnwell County Hospital – Aiken – Augusta  Hampton Regional Medical Center – Beaufort – Charleston -
  6. 6.  Operates 2 offices – Bamberg & Allendale  Current operating budget - $750,000 which currently consists of revenue from mobile MRI services and a grant from AccessHealth (partnership b/w SCHA and The Duke Endowment)
  7. 7.  Physician recruitment  Marketing/Advertising  Grant writing – over $5 million in last 6 years  Radiology - 24/7 coverage  Teleradiology/PACS  Mobile MRI  Centralized Credentialing  IT/Computer support  Transcription  Shared staffing positions  Group Purchasing
  8. 8.  Four hospitals came together during a time of crisis in 2003 when Radiology group decided to STOP providing services to Allendale, Bamberg and Barnwell Hospitals and formed a Radiology Group  For three years, these Radiologists provided on-site coverage to 4 hospitals  Hospitals experienced tremendous growth  Bamberg Hired FT Radiologist  Allendale/Barnwell share a FT Radiologist  Hampton hire ¾ Radiologist
  9. 9.  LCHCN was awarded a grant by Duke Endowment to implement a 4 county-wide Picture Archiving Communications System (PACS)  All 4 hospitals have infrastructure in place to provide 24 hour/7 day/week Radiology coverage  Hospitals have the ability to send CTs, ultrasounds, MRIs, nuclear studies and plain films through PACS  Hospitals can send to each other for Radiology back-up
  10. 10.  Mobile Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is provided on-site to three network hospitals one day/week  LCHCN obtained a loan from Wachovia as well as SC Office of Rural Health’s Revolving Loan Fund to purchase the mobile MRI unit and the loan was guaranteed by the hospitals  LCHCN conducts the billing and the revenue is used to sustain the services of the network  LCHCN leases the unit to another rural hospital one day of the week and a physician’s practice one day/week  LCHCN currently performs approximately 35 – 40 scans per week
  11. 11.  LCHCN at one time provided credentialing services for three of four hospitals in LCHCN service area  LCHCN developed one application form for the provider as he/she was applying for all three hospitals (teleradiologists, radiologist, general surgeon, poditrist, etc.)  LCHCN provided this service because of shared Radiology program  Credentialing Coordinator resigned in July 2008 so each hospital picked up their own work  Currently reviewing option of centralized credentialing program for network members again as well as developing model for charging health plans a fee for verifying provider privileges
  12. 12.  Transcription was a need identified by network members at the 2004 Strategic Planning session  Through a grant, LCHCN purchased a dictation system and provided services to its network members beginning January 15, 2006  LCHCN provided transcription services to 3 member hospitals, 3 physician offices within the service area and two physician offices outside the service area  LCHCN developed marketing materials for this service  Discontinued service 2 years ago  Plans to revisit service and based on need will offer to network members again
  13. 13.  Patient Care Advocate (PCA) in docs offices to review patients’ charts and identify preventive screenings needed  Physician recommends screening (typically at local hospital)  Radiology volumes grew at hospitals - HRMC experienced 24% growth in colorectal screenings and 58% growth in screening mammograms  Marketing campaign in four county area to include billboards, radio ads, newspaper ads and Ministerial Alliance luncheons  Established Patient Assistance Fund thru churches to pay for office visits, transportation and medications
  14. 14.  Case Management – managed load of approximately 300 patients at any given time in service area  Diabetes education – two hospitals were certified as Diabetic Teaching Centers with the aid of a Certified Diabetic Educator and can bill for the visits  Pharmacy Tech – Accessed over $300,000 of free medications for un/underinsured patients over one year for Bamberg County ( AWP Average Wholesale Price)  Enrolled over 400 people in Medicaid
  15. 15.  Worked with SC Budget & Control Board to compile market analysis data for LCHCN service area  Identified that competition b/w counties is not significant  Allowed each hospital to identify areas of outreach for their services  Allowed for a regional physician recruitment plan  Plans to repeat study for more current data
  16. 16.  Expand Mobile MRI Services/Upgrade MRI unit  Develop Transcription Services  Maintain Group Purchasing for supplies for hospitals and develop Group Purchasing for physician practices  Address regional recruiting with new data  Develop Strategic Plan for new Revenue Streams
  17. 17. Kathy Schwarting, MHA Executive Director P.O. Box 177 Bamberg, SC 29003 803-245-6673 office 803-707-2378 cell