Rural Hospital + Health System Consultation

SCORH is dedicated to supporting and building strong, viable systems of health care throughout rural South Carolina. The cornerstone of these systems is often the small rural hospital.

Rural South Carolina is currently home to 30 hospitals, five of which are certified as Critical Access Hospitals. One of the challenges rural hospitals across the nation currently face is maintaining traditional hospital services. At the extreme, some hospitals are forced to close, with over 80 closures occurring since 2010, including three in South Carolina. With the reduced access to both emergency and primary care, rural health systems have to adapt and think innovatively about the health care models needed to deliver appropriate and timely care. The Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program and the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Grant Program (SHIP) together allow SCORH to provide focused, timely technical assistance to eligible small rural hospitals in need of assistance related to quality improvement, financial and operational improvement, development of community partnerships, and integrating Emergency Medical Services into their model of care. Using these resources, SCORH works tirelessly as an information clearinghouse, a sounding board, and an advocate for these providers in order to help them maintain their financial viability and thus high-quality health care services for their residents. We are also fortunate to have strong partnerships with entities such as the South Carolina Hospital Association that allow for state-level coordination on issues that matter for all of our hospitals.

Services provided:

  • Focused, specific technical assistance for the state’s five Critical Access Hospitals and their communities
  • Partnerships with statewide quality improvement initiatives
  • Small rural hospital financial improvement initiatives
  • Operational and financial assessments
  • Staff education and trainings for small rural hospitals, rural health networks, and rural EMS providers
  • Networking conduit between and within rural communities
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Advocacy at the State and Federal level
  • Expert technical assistance for all rural health systems

Program Contact

Sarah M. Craig, MHA