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Rural Health Information Hub

CareSouth Carolina

  • Project Title: CareSouth Carolina
  • Grant Period: FY19 RCORP Implementation Grant (09/2019 – 08/2022)
  • Program Representative Interviewed: Ann Lewis, CEO
  • Location: Hartsville, South Carolina
  • Program Overview: CareSouth Carolina (CSC) is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that provides integrated medical care, behavioral health, and MAT services in 13 locations across five counties in South Carolina. CSC primarily serves low-income, uninsured, and underinsured patients. Its case load is typically between 650 and 800 MAT patients.

    CSC's chief medical officer spearheaded this program by applying for a buprenorphine waiver and providing MAT to patients on a small scale before expanding the program to be what it is today. CSC has partnered with the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS) and state substance use disorder (SUD) agencies to provide intake services and refer patients to CSC for the MAT program.

    The program has three key elements:

    • A requirement that all MAT patients enroll in behavioral health services
    • An onsite lab facility that can process same day urinalysis results
    • A goal to wean patients off buprenorphine during their time in the program

    Behavioral health services are integrated into CSC's program. Depending on a patient's individual needs they will begin seeing providers at regular intervals (such as daily, weekly, biweekly) and, as they progress through the program, provider check-ins become less frequent.

    CSC's MAT services are promoted by word of mouth throughout the community and through collaboration and referral with local alcohol/substance use disorder agencies, along with members of the newly established Rural Opioid Response Consortia which includes members of the healthcare community, law enforcement, justice, funeral homes, and social services providers. Between 80-90% of patients remain in treatment.

Models represented by this program: