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May 1, 2020

Columbia, S.C. — On Saturday, May 2, independent physicians and medical practice representatives will convene in Charleston, Columbia and Greenville to pick up 300,000 pieces of pre-ordered personal protection equipment, commonly known as PPE, through collaboration between BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and Charleston County Medical Society.

The shortage of PPE supplies as a result of the coronavirus has been well documented. According to Marcelo Hochman, M.D., president of Charleston County Medical Society (CCMS), this effort, dubbed Action PPE South Carolina, came about because of the lack of access to PPE for physicians and medical personnel practicing in clinics and small or solo practices. He said, “As hospital systems and government agencies were given priority, it necessitated that doctors and their staffs build their own solution.

“Collaborating with BlueCross was an important way that we could get this vital equipment to the front line — the doctors and their staffs in communities throughout South Carolina. Working together in this way reinforced our collective caring for colleagues and our communities.”

Action PPE South Carolina has become a reliable and scalable platform that has increased access to PPE supplies in other states and spurred interest across the country. Hochman added, “I’m proud to say that medical societies in five other states have adopted our model and we are in discussions with several organizations across the country about bringing necessary equipment to doctors and facilities who are struggling.”

Scott Graves, president of the private business division at BlueCross, was pleased that the health insurer could do something to support independent providers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said, “Because we are in a crisis, we wanted to help. Physicians’ patients are our members and physicians are our colleagues. Helping improve access to PPE supplies for front-line staff was one way we could tangibly demonstrate our support to independent physicians in our state and show them that we care.”


About BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., and operating in South Carolina for more than 70 years, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina comprises more than 20 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health programs and Medicare contracts, other insurance and employee benefits services, and a philanthropic foundation that funds programs to improve health care and access to health care for South Carolinians.

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