AccessHealth Serves More Than 15,000 in 2015

AccessHealth continued its service to low-income, uninsured South Carolinians in 2015, reducing emergency department use by nearly 42% among those served.

Despite all of South Carolina’s economic successes in recent years; an improving employment rate; and more jobs coming our way thanks to Volvo, BMW, Boeing and other major employers, our state’s health status continues to hover near the bottom in national rankings.

AccessHealth SC is a dynamic program that enables hospitals and other partners in
communities across the state to collaborate and create access to a host of services for low-income, uninsured adults. Recognizing the complexity of issues this population faces, AccessHealth SC has assumed a much more holistic approach to the uninsured.

Eleven community-based networks now address clients’ physical, emotional and social
conditions. This often includes connecting people to doctors, housing, jobs, education, and something many of us take for granted – transportation. Ensuring that low-income patients have transportation to primary care appointments, reasonably healthy food in the refrigerator, and heat during the winter months can mean the difference between sustainable good health and future chronic illness.

In 2015, the networks made great strides in reducing the great divide between those with health insurance and those without. AccessHealth SC successfully assisted uninsured adults in obtaining health coverage and worked in concert with the state’s Healthy Outcomes Plan (HOP) to educate patients about available resources and help them locate medical homes – and caring providers – that will allow them to keep potentially dangerous conditions under control.

In 2015, AccessHealth SC served 15,593 individuals, reducing hospital inpatient discharges for acute and chronic conditions by more than 20 percent and emergency department use by nearly 42 percent among those served. The average inpatient stay was cut by half a day, resulting in a 24 percent reduction in costs related to uninsured and indigent patients. As of June 2015, the program had helped 45,365 patients find their way to hope and better health.