AccessHealth Spartanburg announced Tuesday it has been selected to participate in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) national demonstration program.

The organization, founded in 2010 with the mission to improve health outcomes for low-income, uninsured adults in Spartanburg County, will receive a $250,000 grant from the foundation.

It will enable AccessHealth Spartanburg to hire a community health worker to focus on high-need, high-cost patients and study the practice’s effectiveness.

The two-year program, Transforming Complex Care, is aimed a refining and spreading new models to address the needs of the most complex patients.

“For six years, AccessHealth Spartanburg not only has been developing new strategies for delivering health care to our most vulnerable citizens, we have been delivering outcomes never before seen in our community,” said Carey Rothschild, director of AccessHealth Spartanburg. “Being chosen to participate in the Transforming Complex Care program is both an acknowledgement of the improved outcomes our program produces and a challenge to increase and broaden them.”

AccessHealth Spartanburg is one of six organizations across the nation that will participate in the program, which is led by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS).

The organizations will work to demonstrate how their unique strategies can be expanded, improved and implemented in other communities across the U.S.

RWJF selected AccessHealth Spartanburg based on its experience to date and plans to expand its use of community health workers who work directly with patients and complex care needs, chronic unmanaged diseases and high emergency department utilization.

The organization’s community health workers perform psycho-social assessments, medical needs assessments and conduct home visits as part of intensive case management.

AccessHeath Spartanburg said its results so far have been “encouraging,” and it has “significantly improved patient health outcomes while reducing the amount of charity care and higher-cost medical interventions.”

“Health care providers and delivery systems across the country are looking to implement complex care models based on emerging best practices,” said Allison Hamblin, vice president of strategic planning at CHCS. “Transforming Complex Care will enable leading health organizations to more effectively address the social determinants of health for high-need, high-cost patients, and will offer lessons for replication that maximize existing community strengths.”

Other groups chosen to participate in the program include Mountain Pacific Quality Health Foundation of Montana, OneCare Vermont, Redwood Community Health Coalition of California, ThedaCare of Wisconsin and VCU Health System of Virginia.

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