The Impact of Breast and Cervical Cancer in Rural South Carolina: A Call to Action

The Impact of Breast and Cervical Cancer in Rural South Carolina: A Call to Action

The South Carolina Office of Rural Health has joined forces with DHEC’s Best Chance Network and WiseWoman programs to promote awareness and increase the number of rural health care providers offering these life-saving screening services.

 

What is the Best Chance Network? Since 1991, The Best Chance Network has been South Carolina’s program for the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. It provides comprehensive screening and diagnostic services for low-income, uninsured and underinsured women across the state. It is commonly referred to as the “free mammogram” program in local communities.

 

What is the Wise Woman Program? Since 2008, DHEC has offered The WiseWoman program, to reduce risk factors for heart disease in low-income women from 40-64 years of age. Services focus on cardiovascular disease screening, health coaching and lifestyle changes with a focus on controlling high blood pressure.

 

Why Should You Care?

  • Simple screening can detect breast cancer, cervical cancer and heart disease early and save lives.

 

  • Providing this service brings revenue to rural practices.

 

  • The incidence rate of high blood pressure (a precursor to heart disease)  in rural communities is higher than in urban parts of the state. According DHEC, women residing in Barnwell, Marion, and Lee counties have the highest rates of hypertension.

 

  • Rural counties in the Pee Dee region have the highest rates of breast and cervical cancer-related deaths in the state.

What should you do about it?

  • Designate a key member of your staff to be responsible for managing your BCN program.

 

  • Not a BCN or Wisewoman provider? Please call DHEC’s Trenessa Jones at 803-898-1613.

 

  • If you are an existing BCN provider, PA Line at (866) 297-6813 or fax your requests to (866) 297-6814 to reactivate prior authorization (PA) codes through Med-IT.

 

  • Make brochures and posters available in your lobby for patients

 

  • Ensure your EHR is equipped to flag patients for a screening/re-screening reminders.

 

  • Pull lists every Monday and ask your staff to make calls to remind patients of screening and re-screening during clinic down time. You can also use Telavox to send automated screening reminder calls.

 

  • Remind patients that if they have high-deductible Obamacare health plans that they can qualify for BCN services if they cannot afford premiums

 

  •  Share information about BCN/WW programs on your Facebook page, at church and other faith-based gatherings and community health fairs.

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