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Columbia Business Monthly

Better models of care will help us produce better outcomes for the community

Oct 10, 2019 02:05PM

By William "Bill"� T. Manson, III 

Healthcare is about partnership. 

Collaboration with both patients and our community has been a central tenet of AnMed Health's philosophy throughout my 40-year tenure with the organization. Like Kirk Oglesby and John Miller who served as CEOs from 1967-2015, it has been a key part of my role to find the right partners and collaborate. Today"in the face of rising national health costs and growing disparities in care across populations"it couldn't be more relevant. 

Our vision statement calls us to be recognized and celebrated as a gold standard in healthcare quality and community health improvement. 

We have received state and regional recognition for our support of several key community organizations like the YMCA, Hospice of the Upstate, the Anderson Free Clinic, United Way and many others. 

Our work in diversity and inclusion, focusing on disparities of care, have earned us prestigious national recognition by the American Hospital Association. 

We have supported medical education, successfully retaining many of the physicians we've trained, through a long-standing family medicine residency program, as well as a more recent partnership with the Medical University of South Carolina, which An us the only branch campus of the MUSC College of Medicine. 

For many years, AnMed Health has provided support for employers by providing screenings, education and on-site care for employees. 

These collaborations have made our communities a better place to live.

While community partnership isn't a new idea, it's one that is evolving. As payers -- both private and government -- ask health systems not only to provide care, but also manage costs outside the hospital and keep patients well, we have started an entirely new era of working with patients and community-based organizations to address both health needs and the social determinants of health.

It is estimated that only 20-30% of a person's health status is determined by the medical care he or she receives, while genetics, lifestyle and other social factors have the greatest impact. This means we have to work with patients and the community in entirely new ways to impact wellness and health status. 

Over the last five years, we have created a new vice president of Community Health Partnerships position and formed a Clinically Integrated Network (CIN-Piedmont Health Partners) to build an infrastructure for supportive services outside the hospital walls. These resources are available to support our primary care and specialist physicians as they care for our own employees, employees covered under CIN contracts and the almost 60,000 Medicare beneficiaries in the Upstate covered through our partnership with the Bon Secours St. Francis and Spartanburg Regional Healthcare systems. 

Healthcare is now about meeting patients where they are. Digital access, convenience and personalized service are the expectation of today's consumers. Over the past several years, AnMed Health has made significant investments in structure and systems to bring care and health information to patients' fingertips, quickly and securely. The foundation for this improved access is an electronic medical record platform that allows us to create a single, unified health record for each of our patients. 

Access to care is another important aspect in improving care and lowering cost. Last year, we significantly expanded access to primary care, not only through the addition of new primary care providers and extended office hours, but also through the introduction of E-visits. 

Lastly, we understand that the cost of healthcare not only impacts employers, but increasingly affects our patients' out-of-pocket costs, especially with the increase of high-deductible health benefits. This month, we are rolling out a new patient estimator tool that will allow us to provide specific estimates for procedures and care in real time. Patients will now be better able to plan and prepare by getting a more accurate picture of the portion of their bill that is their responsibility. 

It is a new era for collaboration and partnership, and AnMed Health is clearly committed to taking advantage of our history and creating the new platforms required to address the changing needs of our patients and those who pay for healthcare in our communities. 

As the largest employer in Anderson County, we see the issues from both sides, provider and payer, and are committed to finding better models of care which produce better health outcomes and are more economically efficient for us all. 

William "Bill"� T. Manson, III, has served as Chief Executive Officer of AnMed Health since January 1, 2015.