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September 10th 2020

CareSouth Carolina was awarded a total of $269,712 in Health Center Quality Improvement Grant Awards from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

HHS, through HRSA, announced over $117 million in quality improvement awards to 1,318 health centers across the U.S. HRSA-funded health centers will use these funds to further strengthen quality improvement activities and expand quality primary health care service delivery.

CareSouth Carolina was awarded the most total funds of any health center in the state of South Carolina in addition to receiving recognition in the most categories.

By categories: CareSouth Carolina received $44,956 in Clinical Quality Improvers; $61,631 in Health Center Quality Leaders; $11,500 in Access Enhancers; $25,875 in Health Disparities Reducers; $10,750 in Advancing Health Information Technology (HIT) for Quality; and $115,000 for Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition, for a grand total of $269,712.

“This was exciting news for us,” CareSouth Carolina CEO Ann Lewis said. “Everyone at CareSouth Carolina has been working diligently to providing outstanding care to our patients and communities and this recognition, not only in the grant amount, but the total categories of recognition, is a measure of that work.  It is an accomplishment toward our mission “to improve the health and well-being for everyone” in our service area.  There is still more work to do, especially as the struggle with the coronavirus continues, but CareSouth will continue to improve, introducing even more innovations and improvement.”

CareSouth Carolina will use the awarded funds to help provide access to care and to improve health outcomes in its five-county service region.

HRSA also recognizes quality improvement achievements with badges that recognize accomplishments by health centers. In total, CareSouth Carolina received five badges which include:

  • HRSA Health Center Quality Leader, which recognized health centers that improved quality of care.
  • HRSA Access Enhancer, which recognized health centers that increased the total number of patients served and the number of patients receiving comprehensive services.
  • HRSA Health Disparities Reducer, which recognized health centers that met or exceeded the Healthy People 2020 goals, or made at least a 10% improvement across different racial/ethnic groups.
  • HRSA Advancing HIT for Quality, which recognized health centers that optimized HIT services for advancing telehealth, patient engagement, interoperability, and collection of social determinants of health to increase access to care and advance quality of care.
  • PCMH (Patient Centered Medical Home) badge

“These quality improvement awards support health centers across the country in delivering care to nearly 30 million people, providing a convenient source of quality care that has grown even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “These awards help ensure that all patients who visit a HRSA-funded health center continue to receive the highest quality of care, including access to COVID-19 testing and treatment.”

Health centers deliver comprehensive care to people who are low-income, uninsured or face other obstacles to getting health care. On top of the safety-net that they provide, health centers have been on the front lines preventing and responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency, including providing over 3 million COVID-19 tests. Health centers continue to provide essential services for our nation’s most vulnerable and medically underserved populations, including those who often do not have access to care, before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

HRSA’s quality improvement awards recognize the highest performing health centers nationwide as well as those health centers that have made significant quality improvements from the previous year.

“Nearly all HRSA-funded health centers have demonstrated improvement in their clinical quality measures reflecting HRSA’s strong commitment to providing high value health care,” said HRSA Administrator Tom Engels. “Health centers serve approximately 1 in 11 people nationally. These awards will support health centers as they continue to be a primary medical home for communities around the country. Today, nearly 1,400 health centers operate nearly 13,000 service delivery sites nationwide.”

CareSouth Carolina is a private, non-profit community health center delivering patient-centered health and life services in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. CareSouth Carolina operates centers in Bennettsville, Bishopville, Cheraw, Chesterfield, Dillon, Hartsville, Lake View, Latta, McColl and Society Hill.

Services provided by CareSouth Carolina include family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, women services, OB/GYN, HIV/AIDS primary care, dental, chiropractic services, pharmacy, geriatrics, social services, clinical counseling, laboratory, 4D ultrasound, X-Ray, migrant services and veterans choice provider.

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