Creating a Network of Care for the Low-Income Uninsured

Creating a Network of Care for the Low-Income Uninsured

In the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Spartanburg County is an important manufacturing hub in South Carolina. But recent reports show that some 76,000 people in this county of 280,000 are uninsured. A grant from The Duke Endowment is helping a team of community partners close the gaps in health care, eliminate barriers and encourage healthy living.

The new program—AccessHealth Spartanburg—is part of AccessHealth SC, administered by the South Carolina Hospital Association with support from The Duke Endowment. AccessHealth SC works to create and sustain coordinated, data-driven community-based networks of care for the low-income uninsured in South Carolina. Fourteen of 46 S.C. counties are working with AccessHealth SC.

Lin Hollowell, director of the Health Care program area, discusses health care for the low-income uninsured in North Carolina and South Carolina.

In Spartanburg County alone, millions are spent each year to cover the cost of caring for the uninsured. According to hospital officials, uninsured people often use emergency departments for primary care because they don’t access to a medical home. This drives up costs, because emergency rooms are the most expensive venue for care.

The goal of AccessHealth Spartanburg is to create a community case management system that will connect clients to medical homes and provide more comprehensive, coordinated care.

“We have numerous agencies in this community, and each has its own process to determine eligibility for the services it provides,” says Renee Romberger, vice president for community health policy and strategy at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System. “The overall health of our community suffers because uninsured adults face the daunting task of filling out paperwork and seeking support at multiple locations to see if they qualify. Some get lost in the shuffle, and some don’t seek care until it’s too late. We want to close the gaps.”

AccessHealth Spartanburg is expected to begin accepting clients this summer. Rebecca Parrish has been hired as the director. A registered nurse and a licensed social worker will help clients navigate the health care system.

Besides Spartanburg Regional, partners include Mary Black Health System, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Region 2, St. Luke’s Free Medical Clinic, the Spartanburg Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission, Welvista, the S.C. Department of Mental Health and ReGenesis Health Care, a health center in Spartanburg.

George Newby, executive director of ReGenesis, believes the new effort will offer hope to the low-income uninsured.

“As health care providers, we are committed to meeting the needs of everyone in our community,” Newby said in a news release about the effort. “However, limited resources can make this a challenge. Working with AccessHealth SC, we plan to develop a system that can provide the continuum of health care services people need, regardless of job status or income level … in a coordinated, efficient manner. Our goal is to make it easier for people who need help to get help.”

Contact Us

Lin B. Hollowell III
Director of Health Care


Related Work

Area of Work

  • Access to health care

Program Area

  • Health Care

Areas of Work

  • Prevention and early intervention for at-risk children

    To equip children and families with skills to ensure that children reach developmental milestones to lead successful lives.

  • Out-of-home care for youth

    To drive child welfare systems toward greater accountability for child well-being.

  • Quality and safety of health care

    Improving the quality and safety of health care delivery

  • Access to health care

    Improving health by increasing access to comprehensive care

  • Prevention

    Expanding programs to promote health and prevent disease

  • Academic excellence

    Enhancing academic excellence through program and campus development

  • Educational access and success

    Increasing educational access and supporting a learning environment that promotes achievement

  • Campus and community engagement

    Promoting a culture of service, collaboration and engagement among schools and communities

  • Rural church development

    Building the infrastructure and capacity of United Methodist churches to enhance ministry and mission

  • Clergy leadership

    Strengthening United Methodist churches by improving the quality and effectiveness of church leadership

  • Congregational outreach

    Engaging United Methodist congregations in programs that serve their communities

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