Estate Planning Attorney inColumbia, SC

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Securing Your Legacy in South
Carolina

Did you know that one in two U.S. citizens have yet to create a plan for their estate? Just about everyone knows they need to get their affairs in order, but most people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. It's an uncomfortable subject to think about. After all, nobody wants to ponder their death and what happens to their assets when they pass. However, working with an estate planning lawyer in Columbia, SC, protects you, your loved ones, and your assets, both while you're alive and after you have died. There isn't a perfect time to plan your estate, but there is a right time – and that time is now.

We understand that there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution to your estate planning needs. That's why, at CDH Law Firm, we make a concerted effort to speak with our clients personally so that we can create an estate plan that is as unique as they are. Our estate plans are comprehensive, cost-effective, and catered to you. That way, your family is provided if you are incapacitated or pass away.

At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure that every one of our clients leaves our office feeling less stressed and more informed. Peace of mind is valuable currency these days. Why worry about the future of your loved ones when you can use South Carolina law to ensure their stability?

Many of the clients in Columbia that walk through our doors have significant questions that require serious answers. They're filled with doubt, stress, and worry. They're worried about their children, their spouse, their relatives, or all the above. They ask questions like:

  • How much does estate planning cost?
  • What kind of results can I expect?
  • How long will this process take?

If these questions sound familiar, know that you are not alone. At CDH Law Firm, we have worked with hundreds of clients just like you. Sometimes, these clients are unsatisfied with their current estate planning attorney in Columbia. Other times, they have been served with confusing papers or documents that leave them feeling overwhelmed. In either case, clients come to our office knowing they need to manage what is often a sudden, foreign situation.

The good news? We sit down with all new clients for an hour at no extra cost. We do so to get a basic sense of their situation and help steer them in the right direction. That way, they can leave our office feeling a little wiser and a lot better about the future.

Estate Planning Law Columbia, SC
Service Areas

Our firm specializes in several areas of estate planning and family law, including:

  • Estate Planning
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Living Wills
  • Heath Care Power of Attorney
  • Living Wills
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Revocable Trusts
  • Retirement Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts

The Cobb Dill & Hammett
Difference

At Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC, estate planning is like second nature to us. Having worked hundreds upon hundreds of cases, we have the knowledge and experience to assist with all the estate planning needs that you or your family have.

As our client, you will always work directly with your attorney. We do not pass cases off to paralegals or junior associates. Because your concerns and questions don't end when our office closes, we encourage our clients to contact us at any time.

Because we limit the number of cases we accept, we have the time and resources to truly dedicate ourselves to each of our clients. Unlike some competitors, we care about the outcome of every case because we know that our clients' future depends on it.

 Estate Planning Attorney Columbia, SC The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference
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What Our Clients Say

What is Estate Planning in
Columbia, SC?

The word "estate" might make you think of a sprawling mansion in the French countryside. The truth is, you don't have to be rich to have an estate. In fact, most people already have an estate. An estate comprises the assets that a person owns like cars, bank accounts, real estate, businesses, and other possessions. Everyone's estate is different, but we all have one thing in common: none of us can take our estates with us when we die. When that does eventually happen, you will need legal instructions that state who gets what from your estate in plain terms.That, in a nutshell, is estate planning – building a framework in advance that names the organizations or people that should receive your assets after you die. Planning your estate now helps make life much easier for your family down the line.

 Estate Planning Lawyer Columbia, SC
A good estate plan covers more than fiscal assets, however. A comprehensive
estate plan should include the following:
  • If you have children who are minors, instructions as to who will be their guardian when you die.
  • Long-term care insurance if you suffer from an extended injury or illness.
  • Instructions that dictate what happens to you and your financial affairs if you become incapacitated before death.
  • Instructions on the transfer of your business after retirement, incapacity, disability, or death.
  • Instructions on how to provide for loved ones who might need help managing money or who need protection from creditors.
  • Probate and tax avoidance that help minimize court fees, taxes, and legal fees.
  • Planning Medicaid payments.
  • Instructions that help complete or update beneficiary designations.
  • Assist family members who have special needs without disqualifying them from government benefits.

Contrary to popular belief, estate planning isn't just for adults who are approaching retirement age. Estate planning is for everyone. After all, we're all getting older, and none of us know exactly when it will be our time to go.

The Basics of Estate Planning
in Columbia, SC

Although estate planning can be complicated, a well-rounded plan makes a huge difference in what is left to your beneficiaries. Before you start planning your estate, it's important to know a few common topics that may arise as you detail your needs.

1.

Working with a Tax Advisor and Estate Planning
Attorney in Columbia, SC

Working with a veteran estate planning lawyer is a no-brainer, but you should consider working with a tax advisor too. Your attorney's role is to help guide you through the creation of your estate planning documents. Common documents include your will, health care directives, and power of attorney. Your tax advisor will help guide you through tax issues associated with your estate planning needs.

In this relationship, you make the decisions while your attorney and tax advisor help you understand and think through the options you're considering. As a team, they will help you state your wishes clearly while minimizing mistakes and adjusting your plans as they change. Because significant savings can result from thorough, informed planning, you should seriously consider working with a tax advisor in addition to your estate planning attorney.

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2.

Maximizing
Your Estate

If there were one overriding theme of estate planning, it would be maximizing what you plan to leave behind. Thinking through how each of your assets will be distributed is crucial to your estate. Your decisions may change depending on the type of asset, its size, how old you are, and several other factors. With an attorney on your side, you will gain a thorough understanding of what actions you should take to care for your family while minimizing expenses like taxes and court fees.

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3.

Inheritance, Estate,
and Gift Taxes

One of the biggest parts of maximizing what you're leaving behind is to minimize taxes. Federal taxes on estates and gifts are incredibly high. Both forms of taxes usually have exemption limits, which means you can give up to a specific amount without being taxed. Your lawyer can achieve that by using the gift tax exemption to move assets while you are still alive. This strategy maximizes how much your beneficiaries will receive.

Inheritance taxes are often based on the value of your estate and paid prior to asset distribution to your beneficiaries.

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Choosing the
Executor of Your Will

The executor of your estate plays a key role in your affairs. Their responsibilities include carrying out the terms of your will and seeing the estate settlement process through until the end. Obviously, such a role demands a qualified person. Choosing your executor isn't an easy decision. The person you select should be great at managing money, be savvy financially, and show an ability to be patient. That's because the executor is tasked with:

  • Collecting Your Assets
  • Paying Outstanding Bills
  • Submitting Tax Returns
  • Petitioning the Court for Documents
  • Distributing Assets to Your Beneficiaries
 Law Firm Columbia, SC

If the person that you choose as executor is inexperienced with the estate settlement process, it is recommended that they lean on an estate planning attorney in Columbia, SC for guidance. It should be noted that you may appoint more than a single executor to your estate. This is common when two individuals have complementary personalities or skill sets.

The Benefits of Estate Planning
in Columbia, SC

One of the biggest benefits of planning your estate is the peace of mind it brings to you and your family. With the help of our expert estate planning attorneys, you have the power to protect your assets, privacy, and children's welfare. You can also potentially save money on taxes or even avoid probate. By having your wishes legally documented before death or incapacity, you can minimize any impact on your beneficiaries and take control of your legacy. Without a comprehensive estate plan, you're leaving the future of your loved ones in the hands of the South Carolina court system.

With an estate plan in place, you can plan for incapacity by using a power of attorney or advanced medical directives. Doing so relieves your loved ones of the burden of asking the court for the authority to fulfill your wishes.

At CDH Law Firm, we are committed to helping you prepare for both the expected and unexpected through years of experience and a fierce dedication to our clients. From establishing trusts to designing business succession plans, we are here to fight for you.

At CDH we offer a "Will Package" that includes 4 necessary documents.

If a husband and wife each purchase reciprocating will packages we give a discount. Reciprocating just means the husband names the wife and the wife names the husband. Those four documents are:

  • Last will and testament
  • Healthcare power of attorney
  • Durable power of attorney
  • living will
Free Consultation

Common Documents Included
in Your Estate Plan

As mentioned above, everyone's estate planning needs will be different. However, most plans include one or more of the following documents:

1.

Will

Your will is an essential piece of documentation and is often considered the cornerstone of a proper estate plan. Generally speaking, your will is a document that dictates the distribution of your assets after your death. Having an iron-clad will is one of the best ways to make sure that your wishes are communicated clearly. As is the case with most estate planning, it is highly recommended that you work with an estate planning attorney in Columbia, SC, to create and update your will.

The contents of a will typically include:

  • Designation of the executor, who is responsible for adhering to the provisions of your will.
  • Designation of beneficiaries – the people who will be inheriting your assets
  • Instructions that dictate how and when your beneficiaries will receive assets.
  • Instructions that assign guardianship for any minor children.

Without a will in place, the State of South Carolina will decide how to distribute assets to your beneficiaries. Allowing the state to distribute your assets is often an unfavorable route to take, since the settlement process may not include what you had in mind for your survivors. Having a will drafted that reflects your wishes will prevent such a situation from happening.

 Attorney Columbia, SC
2.

Living Will

Despite its name, a living will does not instruct your survivors on what assets go where. Also called an advanced directive, your living will allows you to state your end-of-life medical wishes if you have become unable to communicate. This important document provides guidance to family members and doctors and solidifies certain issues like whether you should be resuscitated after an accident.

For example, it's common to direct that palliative care (care to decrease pain and suffering) always be administered if needed. Conversely, you may state that certain measures are not allowed, like CPR.

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3.

Trusts

Traditionally, a trust is used to minimize estate taxes and maximize other benefits as part of a well-rounded estate plan. This fiduciary agreement lets a trustee hold your assets on behalf of your beneficiaries. There are many ways to arrange a trust to specify when and how your assets are distributed.

With a trust in place, your beneficiaries can avoid going to probate. That means they may be able to gain access to your assets quicker than when they are transferred with a standard will. Assets placed in a trust can pass outside of probate, which will save you and your family time, money, and stress.

There are two distinct trust categories that you should be aware of: revocable and irrevocable.

Estate Planning Law Columbia, SC

Revocable Trust:

Also called a living trust, a revocable trust helps assets circumvent probate. With this trust, you can control your assets while you are still alive. These trusts are flexible and may be dissolved at any point in time. This type of trust becomes irrevocable upon your death. Revocable trusts can help you avoid the pitfalls of probate but be aware that they are usually still taxable.

Irrevocable Trust:

This kind of trust transfers assets out of your estate so that they are not taxed and do not have to go through probate. However, once an irrevocable trust has been executed, it may not be altered. That means that once you establish this kind of trust, you lose control of its assets and cannot dissolve the trust. If your primary goal is to avoid taxes on your estate, setting up an irrevocable could be a wise choice.

When drafted with the help of an estate planning lawyer in Columbia, SC, your trust can also:

Protect Your Legacy:

When constructed properly, a trust can protect your estate from your heirs' creditors. This can be a huge relief for beneficiaries who might need to brush up on money management skills.

Privacy and Probate:

Probate records are made available for public consumption. With a trust, you may have the choice of having your assets pass outside of probate court so that they remain private. In the process, you may also save money that you would lose to taxes and court fees.

Control Wealth:

Because you can specify the exact terms of a trust, you have more control over who receives your assets and when they receive them. As an example, you can set up a revocable trust so that your assets are attainable while you're alive. When you pass, remaining assets are distributed, even in complex situations involving children from multiple marriages.

The Top Estate Planning Law Firm in the Lowcountry

If you know that you need to provide for your family and loved ones after your death, it's time to develop your estate plan. With CDH Law Firm by your side, planning your estate doesn't have to be difficult. However, it does need to be accurate and executed exactly to your wishes – something that we have been helping clients achieve for years. Don't leave your legacy up to chance – contact our office today and secure your future generations.

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Latest News in Columbia, SC

Preliminary 3.3 magnitude quake jolts South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A relatively rare East Coast earthquake centered just northeast of South Carolina's capital city jolted large numbers of state residents awake early Monday, rocking the Southern state at a preliminary 3.3 magnitude, authorities said.There were no immediate reports of any damages or injuries, although more than 4,000 people contacted the U.S. Geological Survey to report what they felt.The pre-dawn temblor lasted only seconds, but a number of people took to social media to describe being shaken from sleep when t...

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A relatively rare East Coast earthquake centered just northeast of South Carolina's capital city jolted large numbers of state residents awake early Monday, rocking the Southern state at a preliminary 3.3 magnitude, authorities said.

There were no immediate reports of any damages or injuries, although more than 4,000 people contacted the U.S. Geological Survey to report what they felt.

The pre-dawn temblor lasted only seconds, but a number of people took to social media to describe being shaken from sleep when the quake hit shortly after 1:30 a.m.

There have been dozens of low-magnitude quakes since last December, when a 3.3 magnitude tremor originated in the same area, near Elgin, about 21 miles (34 kilometers) northeast of downtown Columbia, South Carolina’s capital city.

Those awakened early Monday reported feeling the earth shaking for several seconds, some even describing what sounded like a heavy truck moving nearby.

But geological officials noted that, while the events are unsettling, central South Carolina's loose soil and lack of significant bedrock — coupled with the Monday earthquake's shallow depth of about 1.9 miles (3.1 kilometers) below the earth’s surface — mean such rumbles are felt more significantly in a place like South Carolina than they would perhaps be along the San Andreas fault system, in California.

“There’s definitely been a ‘swarm’ here over the past several months," Amy Vaughan, a geophysicist and seismic analyst monitoring the quake for USGS’ National Earthquake Information Center in Colorado, told The Associated Press by phone. “This is not an area that is capable of producing what we would consider a big one, of much larger magnitudes. ... A 3.3 is a larger deal when it occurs somewhere like South Carolina."

Noting that the 3.3 magnitude is an early assessment and could change, Vaughan added that reports had been pouring in to the 24-hour quake monitoring center.

“I have not heard of any damage reports so far but have had over a thousand ... reports," she said.

Still, she called it “alarming for sure" and said some lesser aftershocks were possible in coming days or weeks. She noted there were quakes of a preliminary 2.0 or higher in April and March and others going back little more than four months in the region — and a 3.3 quake last December.

South Carolina typically averages 20 earthquakes a year, according to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division. Elgin is along a large fault system that extends from Georgia through the Carolinas and into Virginia.

Last year, the area near Jenkinsville — about 40 miles (60 kilometers) west of this group of tremors — registered six small earthquakes in over a week.

According to emergency management officials, about 70% of South Carolina earthquakes are located in the Middleton Place-Summerville Seismic Zone, about 12.4 miles (20 kilometers) northwest of Charleston.

In 1886, that historic coastal city was home to the largest recorded earthquake in the history of the southeastern United States, according to seismic officials. The quake, thought to have had a magnitude of at least 7, left dozens of people dead and destroyed hundreds of buildings.

That event was preceded by a series of smaller tremors over several days, although it was not known that the foreshocks were necessarily leading up to something more catastrophic until after the major quake.

Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP.

Light mag. 3.3 earthquake - 21 mi northeast of Columbia, Richland County, South Carolina, USA, on Monday, May 9, 2022 at 1:32 am (GMT -4) -

9 May 05:34 UTC: First to report: VolcanoDiscovery after 2 minutes.9 May 05:40: Now using data updates from USGS9 May 06:01: Magnitude recalculated from 3.1 to 3.3. Hypocenter depth recalculated from 1.5 to 3.1 km (from 0.9 to 1.9 mi). Epicenter location corrected by 0.9 km (0.6 mi) towards SE.Small magnitude 3.1 earthquake 21 miles northeast of Columbia, South Carolina, United StatesA very shallow magnitude 3.1 earthquake was reported early morning near Columbia, Richland County, South Caroli...

9 May 05:34 UTC: First to report: VolcanoDiscovery after 2 minutes.9 May 05:40: Now using data updates from USGS9 May 06:01: Magnitude recalculated from 3.1 to 3.3. Hypocenter depth recalculated from 1.5 to 3.1 km (from 0.9 to 1.9 mi). Epicenter location corrected by 0.9 km (0.6 mi) towards SE.

Small magnitude 3.1 earthquake 21 miles northeast of Columbia, South Carolina, United States

A very shallow magnitude 3.1 earthquake was reported early morning near Columbia, Richland County, South Carolina, USA.According to the United States Geological Survey, the quake hit on Monday, May 9th, 2022, at 1:32 am local time at a very shallow depth of 0.9 miles. Shallow earthquakes are felt more strongly than deeper ones as they are closer to the surface. The exact magnitude, epicenter, and depth of the quake might be revised within the next few hours or minutes as seismologists review data and refine their calculations, or as other agencies issue their report.A second report was later issued by the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC), which listed it as a magnitude 3.5 earthquake.Based on the preliminary seismic data, the quake should not have caused any significant damage, but was probably felt by many people as light vibration in the area of the epicenter. Weak shaking might have been felt in Elgin (pop. 1,500) located 4 miles from the epicenter, and Lugoff (pop. 7,400) 4 miles away.Other towns or cities near the epicenter where the quake might have been felt as very weak shaking include Camden (pop. 7,100) located 9 miles from the epicenter, Fredericksburg (pop. 7,100) 9 miles away, and Dentsville (pop. 14,100) 15 miles away. In Columbia (pop. 133,800, 21 miles away), West Columbia (pop. 16,100, 23 miles away), Saint Andrews (pop. 21,200, 24 miles away), and Sumter (pop. 40,800, 28 miles away), the quake was probably not felt.

Seismic-like event, possible earthquake, reported about 10 minutes ago near Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA

We are receiving unverified early reports of ground shaking possibly caused by seismic activity in or near Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA on 9 May 2022 (GMT) at approximately 05:31 GMT.There are no details yet on the magnitude or depth of this possible quake. If confirmed, we can expect more accurate data to emerge in the next few minutes. The location, magnitude and time mentioned are indicative, based on our best-fit seismic model. They are temporary until our AllQuakes monitoring service receives more exact scientific data from a national or international seismological agency. Check back here shortly and stay safe.

If you were or still are in this area during the quake help others with your feedback and report it here.

Download the Volcanoes & Earthquakes app and get one of the fastest seismic alerts online:Android | iOS

Date & time: May 9, 2022 05:32:47 UTC - 18 hours agoLocal time at epicenter: Monday, May 9, 2022 at 1:32 am (GMT -4) Magnitude: 3.3 Depth: 3.1 km Epicenter latitude / longitude: 34.16683°N / 80.72617°W (Kershaw, South Carolina, United States) Antipode: 34.167°S / 99.274°E Nearby towns and cities:6 km (4 mi) E of Elgin (pop: 1,480) --> See nearby quakes!8 km (5 mi) SSW of Lugoff (pop: 7,430) --> See nearby quakes!24 km (15 mi) ENE of Dentsville (pop: 14,100) --> See nearby quakes!29 km (18 mi) NE of Forest Acres (pop: 10,600) --> See nearby quakes!34 km (21 mi) NE of Columbia (pop: 133,800) --> See nearby quakes!37 km (23 mi) ENE of West Columbia (pop: 16,100) --> See nearby quakes!40 km (25 mi) ENE of Saint Andrews (pop: 21,200) --> See nearby quakes!41 km (25 mi) ENE of Seven Oaks (pop: 15,100) --> See nearby quakes!45 km (28 mi) NW of Sumter (pop: 40,800) --> See nearby quakes!621 km (386 mi) SSW of Washington (District of Columbia) (pop: 601,700) --> See nearby quakes!

Weather at epicenter at time of quake: Overcast Clouds 11°C (52 F), humidity: 77%, wind: 3 m/s (6 kts) from NNE

Primary data source: USGS (United States Geological Survey) Estimated released energy: 5.6 x 109 joules (1.56 megawatt hours, equivalent to 1.34 tons of TNT) | about seismic energy

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11 birds you’ll see in Columbia, SC

Whether you’re a “wake up to the sound of birds” type, or a “please be quiet I’m trying to sleep” type, we’re all getting a new soundtrack to our South Carolina mornings.Here’s the pitch: imagine getting out of bed in the morning, sitting out on the patio, or going for a stroll along the river walk. Instead of just a bunch of noise, you hear the songs of the Carolina Wren aka the “Mouth of the South” or the soft warble of the Eastern Bluebird. You ...

Whether you’re a “wake up to the sound of birds” type, or a “please be quiet I’m trying to sleep” type, we’re all getting a new soundtrack to our South Carolina mornings.

Here’s the pitch: imagine getting out of bed in the morning, sitting out on the patio, or going for a stroll along the river walk. Instead of just a bunch of noise, you hear the songs of the Carolina Wren aka the “Mouth of the South” or the soft warble of the Eastern Bluebird. You could even learn their colors, habits, and favorite foods. The upshot: you should really get into birdwatching.

You could wing it, or…

A little bit of preparation goes a long way — i.e., you don’t need to drop your tax return on binocs (although it couldn’t hurt to look).

What might help:

Meet the stars of the show

American Robin

Woodlands, suburban backyards, and grasslands with shrubs | All year | Song

Carolina Chickadee

Woodlands, swamps, parks, and suburban + urban areas | All year | Song

Carolina Wren

Brushy thickets, swamps, and ravines | All year | Song

Indigo Bunting

Brushy forest edges, open woods, and farmland | Spring, summer, and early fall | Song

Northern Cardinal

Woodland edges, thickets, and suburban gardens | All year | Song

Northern Mockingbird

Forest edges and open areas | Spring, summer, and early fall | Song

Purple Martin

Lake Murray | June-August | Song

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Forests near rivers and streams | All year | Song

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Moist forests and thickets | Spring, summer, and early fall | Song

Scarlet Tanager

Large, undisturbed tracts of forest | Spring, summer, and early fall | Song

Tufted Titmouse

Common in orchards, parks, and suburban areas | All year | Song

Four Midlands hospitals get an ‘A’ in latest safety grades, another is lowest rated in SC

Four Midlands hospitals received the highest mark possible in the safety grades released by a medical watchdog group Tuesday. Most area hospitals saw their scores improve since the last ratings were released.Both Prisma Health Baptist, in downtown Columbia, and ...

Four Midlands hospitals received the highest mark possible in the safety grades released by a medical watchdog group Tuesday. Most area hospitals saw their scores improve since the last ratings were released.

Both Prisma Health Baptist, in downtown Columbia, and Prisma Health Baptist Parkridge, near the Lexington County line, were given A grades, and are ranked among the safest hospitals in South Carolina, according to the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade.

The A was an improvement for Prisma Health Baptist, which received a B in the fall and spring ratings in 2021.

Prisma Health Baptist Parkridge has consistently been one of the highest rated hospitals in the Midlands, receiving the highest grade in the past six rating reports from the Leapfrog Group, which issues biannual safety rankings.

Since 2012, the Leapfrog Group has published Hospital Safety Scores twice a year — once in the spring and once during the fall — to create transparency in the U.S. health system. The rating is focused on “errors, accidents, injuries and infections.”

Based on this criteria, other Columbia-Lexington-area hospitals received one B and three Cs for the spring. Those include:

? Lexington Medical Center, which repeated its score from the fall ranking of B

? Prisma Health Richland repeated its score from the fall ranking of C

? MUHA Columbia Medical Center Downtown, formerly Providence Health, repeated its score from the fall ranking of C

? MUSC Health Columbia Medical Center Northeast, formerly Providence Health Northeast, repeated its score from the fall ranking of C

Two other hospitals in the Midlands received an A, while one that had an F in the fall received a higher grade in the current ranking.

? McCleod Health Clarendon in Manning repeated its score from the fall ranking of A

? Prisma Health Tuomey saw its grade rise two letters from C in the fall ranking to A

? Newberry County Memorial Hospital saw its grade rise one letter from C in the fall ranking to B

? MUSC Health Kershaw Medical Center saw its grade rise one letter from C in the fall ranking to B

? Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg and Calhoun Counties saw its grade rise one letter from F in the fall to D

Overall in South Carolina, of the 51 hospitals that were ranked, 21 received a letter A. That’s an improvement from 15 As in the fall rankings.

No hospitals in the Palmetto State received an F in the spring grades. The D given to the Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg and Calhoun Counties was the lowest mark dispensed, and even that was an improvement from the fall.

Nationally, South Carolina ranked 13th among all states, with more than 41% of its hospitals scoring an A rating. That was a significant increase from the fall (29%), when the Palmetto State was ranked 25th in the nation.

Neighboring North Carolina (59.8%) was the top-rated state in the U.S., while there was a four-way tie for lowest grade among North Dakota, Wyoming, West Virginia, and Washington D.C., as none had a hospital with an A grade.

“The health care workforce has faced unprecedented levels of pressure during the pandemic, and as a result, patients’ experience with their care appears to have suffered,” Leapfrog Group President and CEO Leah Binder said in a news release. “We commend the workforce for their heroic efforts these past few years and now strongly urge hospital leadership to recommit to improved care — from communication to responsiveness — and get back on track with patient safety outcomes.”

Leapfrog graded more than 2,900 hospitals nationwide this spring, and 33% earned an A, 24% earned a B, 36% a C, 7% a D and less than 1% scored an F, according to its website.

The grades are based on safety data and rate how hospitals have “checks in place to prevent mistakes, and ensure strong lines of communication between hospital staff, patients, and families,” according to Leapfrog, which estimated about 160,000 people die every year from hospital errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.

That’s “a significant improvement from 2016, when researchers estimated 205,000 avoidable deaths,” Leapfrog officials said.

“Despite a general decrease in patient experience ratings, spring Grades continue to show significant variation in safety performance across U.S. hospitals,” Binder said. “This variability is a constant reminder that the public must have access to information on which hospitals are safer so patients can make the best decision for themselves and their loved ones.”

Leapfrog said 50,215 lives could be saved every year if all hospitals performed at the level of A graded hospitals. But even hospitals that scored an A can make improvements to save lives.

“Leapfrog advises the public never to reject emergency treatment based on a safety score, but to consult with a doctor about the best hospital for planned, elective procedures,” the News & Observer previously reported.

But Leapfrog’s study shows that patients at ‘D’ and ‘F’ hospitals face about a greater risk of dying than those at hospitals graded A.

The Leapfrog safety grade is divided into two domains: Process/Structural Measures and Outcome Measures.

The Process Measures include:

? Computerized Physician Order Entry

? Bar Code Medication Administration

? ICU Physician Staffing

? Leadership Structures and Systems

? Culture Measurement, Feedback & Intervention

? Nursing Workforce

? Hand Hygiene

? Nurse Communication

? Doctor Communication

? Staff Responsiveness

? Communication about Medicines

? Discharge Information

? Foreign Object Retained

? Air Embolism

? Falls and Trauma

? CLABSI

? CAUTI

? SSI: Colon

? MRSA

? C. Diff.

? Pressure Ulcer Rate

? Death Rate among Surgical Inpatients with Serious Treatable Conditions

? Iatrogenic Pneumothorax Rate

? Postoperative Respiratory Failure Rate

? Perioperative PE/DVT Rate

? Postoperative Wound Dehiscence Rate

? Unrecognized Abdominopelvic Accidental Puncture/Laceration Rate

SOURCE: Leapfrog Medical Group

Baseball Hosts Kentucky in a Three-Game SEC Series

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The University of South Carolina baseball team plays its final SEC home series of 2022 this weekend, hosting Kentucky in a three-game set starting Friday night (May 13) at 7 p.m. The series continues Saturday afternoon (May 14) at noon and concludes Sunday afternoon (May 15) at 1:30 p.m. Friday and Sunday's game will be streamed on SEC Network Plus. Saturday's game will be on SEC Network with Roy Phillpot and Lance Cormier on the call. All games also will be broadcast on the Gamecock Sports Network with Derek Scott, ...

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The University of South Carolina baseball team plays its final SEC home series of 2022 this weekend, hosting Kentucky in a three-game set starting Friday night (May 13) at 7 p.m. The series continues Saturday afternoon (May 14) at noon and concludes Sunday afternoon (May 15) at 1:30 p.m. Friday and Sunday's game will be streamed on SEC Network Plus. Saturday's game will be on SEC Network with Roy Phillpot and Lance Cormier on the call. All games also will be broadcast on the Gamecock Sports Network with Derek Scott, Tommy Moody and Stuart Lake on the call. The Gamecocks are coming off a 9-6 loss to USC Upstate on Tuesday night (May 10). Josiah Sightler homered in the game while Brandt Belk drove in three runs.

PARKING INFORMATION Shuttle parking for the University of South Carolina baseball season will be operational at the Key Road Gravel Lot (1105 Key Road). Shuttle begins two (2) hours prior to first pitch and continues until 1 hour after the game.

For GPS purposes, the address for the Key Road Gravel Lot is 1105 Key Road, Columbia, SC 29201.

GAME DAY PARKING INFORMATION (including public game day lots (PGDL: $10/$5 per game). All gameday lots are cashless. Please have a debit card or credit card ready for payment upon entry into parking lots.

Weekdays Game Time: 7 p.m. Stadium Opens: 6:00p.m. Business Lots Open: 5/5:30 p.m. Lot 1, STDM, HDG PGDL Open: 5 p.m. Bus Shuttle for Patrons: 5 p.m.

Saturday Game Time: 12 p.m. Stadium Opens: 11 a.m. Business Lots Open: 10 a.m. Lot 1, STDM, HDG PGDL Open: 10 a.m. Bus Shuttle for Patrons: 10 a.m.

Saturday Game Time: 1:30 p.m. Stadium Opens: 12:30 p.m. Business Lots Open: 11:30 a.m. Lot 1, STDM, HDG PGDL Open: 11:30 a.m. Bus Shuttle for Patrons: 11:30 a.m.

SCOUTING KENTUCKY The Wildcats are coming off taking 2-of-3 games against No. 1 Tennessee in Knoxville this past weekend. Alonzo Rubalcaba had the game-winning hit in the 13th inning of Thursday's win while Zach Lee struck out a pair in 3.1 innings of relief to earn the win in Friday's game. Chase Estep leads the Wildcats with a .319 batting average and is tied with Jacob Plastiak with 12 home runs. On the mound, Sean Harney is 5-3 with a 2.68 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 50.1 innings pitched.

SERIES VS. KENTUCKY Carolina holds a 57-42 all-time series lead on Kentucky heading into Friday's game. The Gamecocks swept the Wildcats in Lexington last season. Andrew Eyster earned SEC Co-Player of the Week honors after going 8-for-12 with nine RBI in the three wins. The last series between the two teams in Columbia was in 2019 with Carolina taking 2-of-3 games from the Wildcats.

PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION Friday South Carolina Brett Thomas (Jr. RHP) 0-1, 6.75 ERA, 16.0 IP, 11 BB, 15 SO Kentucky Austin Strickland (So. RHP) 2-2, 7.13 ERA, 17.2 IP, 8 BB, 25 SO

Friday South Carolina Noah Hall (Jr. RHP) 2-4, 4.93 ERA, 65.2 IP, 26 BB, 66 SO Kentucky Sean Harney (Gr. RHP) 5-3, 2.68 ERA, 50.1 IP, 14 BB, 51 SO

Saturday South Carolina Will Sanders (So. RHP) 7-2, 3.87 ERA, 74.1 IP, 25 BB, 74 SO Kentucky TBA

SENIORS HONORED ON SATURDAY Carolina's five seniors (Brandt Belk, Parker Coyne, Andrew Eyster, John Gilreath and Cam Tringali) will be honored before Saturday's game against Kentucky. Belk has been with the Gamecocks for the 2022 season after transferring from Missouri. Eyster had played four seasons with the Garnet and Black while Coyne, Gilreath and Tringali have been on the roster for five years. The Gamecocks also will honor senior manager Jamie Karl and senior bullpen catcher Dalton Bontempo before Saturday's game.

OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION AT TEXAS A&M Carolina hit .348 with seven home runs and 40 hits in the three games at Texas A&M May 6-8. Braylen Wimmer was 6-for-9 with two home runs and five walks while Josiah Sightler had a pair of long balls and drove in five. Kevin Madden had five hits and three RBI and Colin Burgess had a grand slam in Sunday's 9-4 win. Carolina is now up to .271 in batting average, up from .258 after the second game against Alabama April 29.

UP NEXT Carolina wraps up its home schedule on Tuesday, May 18 against Charlotte with first pitch set for 7 p.m.

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