Health care providers from throughout the tri-county area will come together this morning to kick off a comprehensive effort to provide integrated health care to low-income, uninsured people here.
The event will take place at 10 a.m. today at Seacoast Church's Dream Center Clinic, 5505 N. Rhett Ave. in North Charleston.
The collaboration will announce a three-year, $750,000 Duke Endowment grant in addition to its plans to ensure access to care for low-income, uninsured people.
On hand at the medical clinic will be many of the participating organizations, representatives from the Duke Endowment and AccessHealth SC, and some of the patients who will benefit from the initiative.
About 150,000 people in the tri-county area -- more than 20 percent of the population -- lack health insurance. Many are postponing routine and preventive care and bringing their acute needs to hospital emergency rooms. Their care is costing healthcare providers and insured patients 35-40 percent of your health insurance premium by some estimates.
Made up of local hospital systems, federally qualified health centers, free clinics, safety net providers, physicians, behavioral health agencies and other health care organizations, the collaboration is focused on ensuring that uninsured patients get the right care at the right time in the right setting.