Medicaid agency helping school clinics succeed

Four high-poverty schools in Charleston are poviding in-school medical clinics

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Four high-poverty schools in Charleston County could become a statewide model for in-school medical clinics that offer parents a convenient way to take their children to the doctor.

South Carolina's Medicaid agency is working with a nonprofit to expand services in the clinics that opened two years ago with one volunteer doctor splitting eight hours weekly. Agency officials say they want to help the clinics grow while becoming financially stable. That involves helping enroll qualifying students in the government health care program and training staff on how to bill Medicaid for services.

A deputy director at the state Department of Health and Human Services says if students can be treated at school, they're less likely to end up in emergency rooms after their parents get off work.