Plan to leverage advanced practitioners, telehealth and MUSC specialty oversight
CHARLESTON, S.C. (May 22, 2019) – MUSC Health, the clinical enterprise of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), has signed a strategic alliance with Hampton Regional Medical Center (HRMC) that will transform how rural health care is delivered in South Carolina. Together, MUSC and HRMC plan to extend primary and specialty care to serve Hampton County and surrounding areas by leveraging the combination of advanced practitioners, the latest telehealth services, and supportive oversight by MUSC specialists.
“South Carolina continues to be one of the nation’s leaders in telemedicine, due in no small part to the fantastic work in the field being done by MUSC,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “Telemedicine is a vital component of rural health care, and we couldn’t be happier with this new partnership between MUSC and Hampton Regional Medical Center.”
Established in 1950, HRMC has overcome many obstacles to build and sustain a facility that provides excellent health care services. Through the years, the hospital has earned numerous awards and positive Press Ganey patient satisfaction scores. HRMC has also been a constant advocate for technological advancement and expansion of medical services throughout the Lowcountry. Working in tandem with HRMC, MUSC will deliver its brand, quality and physician expertise to all area residents. The specific intent is to keep care within the local community and within the existing HRMC health care system, as medically appropriate.
“Oftentimes, people living in the service areas of rural hospitals travel to larger facilities in urban areas to receive care that, with today’s telehealth technology, can be provided closer to home,” said Patrick J. Cawley, MUSC Health CEO and vice president for Health Affairs, University.
Outmigration, which describes rural residents who leave their communities for health care needs, may be necessary when an advanced level of care is required; however, in many instances, rural residents can receive the quality care they need in their home communities, which benefits both patients and their loved ones. The shift of community residents away from their hometown hospitals takes a heavy toll on the financial stability and viability of rural health facilities. MUSC hopes to remedy outmigration and retain significantly more care locally by fully leveraging telehealth technologies.
”HRMC is a pillar in the community and it is our shared commitment to use technology and our deep bench of health care specialists to increase access to the variety of health care services available in this market,” Cawley noted. “In collaboration with HRMC, we have developed a working model that will enhance the level of care offered in rural communities and, simultaneously, lend critical support to rural hospitals,” he said. “Moving forward, we can replicate this distinct model of rural health care delivery in rural communities across South Carolina and, potentially, at a national level.”
In recent years, four rural, South Carolina hospitals have closed due to financial forces that made their operations unsustainable, including an insufficient volume of patients, escalating costs, and decreasing reimbursements for services delivered. The market challenges that precipitated these closures continue to mount, making immediate access to quality care difficult at best in many rural areas.
HRMC has some distinctly positive characteristics in place to combat existing market forces. As Hampton County’s sole not-for-profit hospital, the facility is equipped with state-of-the-art, cutting-edge technology. HRMC physicians and advanced practitioners, including nurse practitioners and physician assistants, will work alongside MUSC physicians via telehealth and satellite clinics to improve further the already solid level of care delivery at HRMC.
HRMC, an 82,000-square-foot, 32-bed facility, also encompasses adjacent medical office buildings with state-of-the-art facilities to serve the community. Unlike many rural health facilities with aging infrastructure, HRMC is uniquely positioned to care for the community effectively without the need for large capital investment.
“This concerted partnership between MUSC and HRMC provides a sustainable delivery model for our medical center, ensuring that up-to-the-minute health care is delivered right here within our community,” said Dave Hamill, HRMC CEO. “In addition to our highly skilled physicians, our community has demonstrated a welcoming acceptance of the nurse practitioner and physician assistant patient care model. As a result, we know this collaborative and innovative approach, combined with deploying MUSC’s proven telehealth capabilities that are supported by MUSC physicians, will result in notable increases to both inpatient and outpatient access.”
About MUSC Health
As the clinical health system of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality patient care available, while training generations of competent, compassionate health care providers to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Comprising some 1,600 beds, more than 100 outreach sites, the MUSC College of Medicine, the physicians’ practice plan, and nearly 275 telehealth locations, MUSC Health owns and operates eight hospitals situated in Charleston, Chester, Florence, Lancaster and Marion counties. In 2018, for the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the number one hospital in South Carolina.To learn more about clinical patient services, visit http://muschealth.org.
Founded in 1824, MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets of $3 billion. The more than 17,000 MUSC team members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers and scientists who deliver groundbreaking education, research, technology and patient care. For information on academic programs, visit musc.edu.
Hampton Regional Medical Center is a progressive, friendly community hospital located in rural Varnville, S.C. The hospital has provided comprehensive, high quality patient care to residents throughout the region since 1950. Working under the guiding principle that people living in rural areas deserve local access to the finest medical care, Hampton Regional is equipped with well-trained, credentialed staff and cutting-edge technology to provide a broad spectrum of care. The 32-bed hospital is 82,000 square feet and has on-site 24-hour emergency care, state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging services, laboratory, surgery and rehabilitation. The hospital campus includes two medical office buildings that house Coastal Plains Physician Associates and Primary Care. The multi-specialty physician group is a not-for-profit organization and is a wholly owned subsidiary of HRMC. The Coastal Plains practice offers services in primary care medicine, general surgery, orthopedics, cardiology and radiology. Additionally, the hospital works with physician specialists from around the state to provide on-site appointments in various areas including neurology, ophthalmology and oncology. For more information about Hampton Regional Medical Center, visit www.hamptonregional.org.