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S.C. BlueCross and Palmetto Primary Care Physicians Launch Medical Home Pilot Project
Date:4/6/2009

COLUMBIA, S.C., April 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and Palmetto Primary Care Physicians this month are initiating a year-long patient-centered medical home pilot project that could become a model for South Carolina.

The patient-centered medical home, a concept backed by national medical societies and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is a first for BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, a first for Palmetto Primary Care Physicians and its patients, and a first in South Carolina involving an insurance company.

The pilot project will focus on diabetic patients who are members of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina, and the State Health Plan.

Patient-centered medical homes integrate quality improvement, coordinated care management and patient educational tools into primary care practices. The concept places the primary care doctor in charge of a team that can include social workers, pharmacists, wellness coordinators, nurses, disease managers, clinical diabetic educators, all working together to proactively reach out and develop an individual treatment plan for patients.

Case managers, hired recently by Palmetto Primary Care Physicians, will help reduce gaps in care, such as missed appointments with specialists, lack of transportation, and medication non-compliance. They also will perform outreach, such as registering patients for wellness clinics, scheduling appointments with specialists and monitoring medical effects. The clinical quality goals will be monitored by measuring blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels.

Electronic medical records will be a key component for delivering comprehensive care. Palmetto Primary Care Physicians uses software, at the point of care, that integrates information received from the health plan, case manager and local emergency rooms. This i
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SOURCE BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
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