COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Hospitals statewide are working with free- and low-cost health clinics to improve the lives of thousands of South Carolina's chronically ill residents who don't have insurance.
The state's "healthy outcomes initiative" starts next month and involves hospitals reaching out to uninsured patients who frequently seek care in emergency rooms. They are also collaborating with area nonprofits to solve their issues rather than waiting for them to walk into the ER before treating their ailment.
The state's Medicaid agency gave each of the 58 hospitals in South Carolina a target number of patients to help over the next year, ranging from 50 to 750, for a total of 8,500. All have turned in their plans.
The program is part of the agency's efforts to improve residents' health while lowering costs.