2012 News

L.A. Care's eConsult Program Receives $200,000 Grant

December 2012

L.A. Care's eConsult program recently received a $200,000 grant from the Blue Shield of California Foundation to support eConsult operations and activities during 2013. The funding is a part of the Foundation's Safety Net Integration grantmaking, which supports the integration of behavioral health and primary care; strengthening hospital to primary care transitions; building health information exchange capabilities across safety net providers; and improving specialty care access for low-income populations in California.

For more information, please contact Joe Acosta, Health IT Program Manager, at jacosta@lacare.org. You can also read the press release from the Blue Shield of California Foundation.



LA Times - Health on eConsult: Healthcare crisis: not enough specialists for the poor

December 2012

The county is trying to make the system more efficient, reduce wait times and ensure that those who don't need more advanced care don't overburden the system, said Mitch Katz, head of the L.A. County Department of Health Services. County officials risk losing newly insured patients, along with government funding, if they can't find ways to reduce the bottleneck.

One focus is using technology to improve communication and better screen patients. A pilot program, for example, is allowing primary care doctors at community and public clinics to quickly transmit patients' medical information via computer to a public health specialist for a consultation.

The electronic consults are streamlining referrals and helping clinic doctors make better treatment choices, said Louise McCarthy, executive director of the Community Clinic Assn. of Los Angeles County.

Read the full article



The Colorado Community Health Network(CCHN) Launches Safety Net Connect’s eConsult Solution

December 2012

CCHN is pleased to announce a partnership with software development company Safety Net Connect to bring their eConsult solution to Colorado. eConsult will revolutionize the way physicians communicate about patient care and ultimately reduce the need for specialty visits for underserved populations.

Through Safety Net Connect’s eConsult solution, primary care physicians (PCPs) will be able to electronically connect with specialists and sub-specialists for guidance and consultations. PCPs are frequently forced to make specialty referrals for issues that they could likely manage at the office if they had the input of a specialist. Fortunately, eConsult will allow PCPs to engage in an electronic consultation with a variety of appropriate specialists who are seeking an easier way to broaden access to their services.

PCPs will be able to log onto a user-friendly, HIPAA-compliant, web-based eConsult solution that allows them to share patient information and receive a timely response through secure messaging from any number of specialists. eConsult is an innovative, simple way to reduce healthcare costs while providing critically needed access.

CCHN represents Colorado's 17 Community Health Centers that together are the backbone of the primary health care safety-net in Colorado.



L.A. Care Health Plan is focused on reducing unnecessary visits to medical specialists through the eConsult Platform

Los Angeles CA, August 2012

L.A. Care’s Web-based eConsult portal allows the health plan’s primary care and specialty physicians to directly communicate with one another, including the sharing of photos and other documentation. That permits more thorough patient evaluations prior to making a referral to a specialist.

Read the full article



eConsult Platform Transforms Health Care by Improving Access to Specialty Care

Los Angeles CA, August 2012

L.A. Care Health Plan announced today that its eConsult platform, an electronic primary care-to-specialist consultation and referral system, has successfully launched and completed its first patient consults for dermatology and neurology specialties.

Read the full article



HIE Regional Leaders Remark on Key Initiatives (Taped at Redwood MedNet Conference & Interoperability Exhibition, July 2012)

July 2012

Sajid Ahmed, Director of Health Information Technology & Innovation, L.A. Care Health Plan, HITEC-LA



Coordinated care program aims to save Medicaid millions

April 2012

Medical Home Network seeks to provide an alternative to emergency room visits for low-income women and children through NetChemitry's Connect Solution.

Read the full article



Safety Net Connect Establishes an Electronic Interface Between their AuthMED Solution and CalWINN for San Diego's CMS Program

March 2012

Safety Net Connect's AuthMED (enrollment and eligibility determination system) now electronically delivers Low Income Health Program (LIHP) application information to CalWIN for either Citizenship Verification and or Med-Cal application initiation.



Comprehensive Care Solutions (CCS) Launches Safety Net Connect's eConsult Solution

Newport Beach CA, March 2012

CCS is pleased to announce a partnership with software solutions provider Safety Net Connect to bring their eConsult solution to patient coordination and care management. eConsult will revolutionize the way care mangers communicate about patient care and ultimately reduce the need for specialty visits.

Through Safety Net Connect's eConsult solution, care managers will be able to electronically connect with providers for guidance and consultations.



CHOC Health Alliance Launches Safety Net Connect's eConsult Solution

February 2012

CHOC Health Alliance is pleased to announce a partnership with software development company Safety Net Connect to bring their eConsult solution to Pediatrics. eConsult will revolutionize the way physicians communicate about patient care and ultimately reduce the need for specialty visits for underserved populations.

Through Safety Net Connect's eConsult solution, primary care physicians (PCPs) will be able to electronically connect with specialists and sub-specialists for guidance and consultations. PCPs are frequently forced to make specialty referrals for issues that they could likely manage at the office if they had the input of a specialist. Fortunately, eConsult will allow PCPs to engage in an electronic consultation with a variety of appropriate specialists who are seeking an easier way to broaden access to their services.

PCPs will be able to log onto a user-friendly, HIPAA-compliant, web-based eConsult solution that allows them to share patient information and receive a timely response through secure messaging from any number of specialists. eConsult is an innovative, simple way to reduce healthcare costs while providing critically needed access.



MHN Connect User Testimonials

January 2012

Care Coordinator, Pediatrics care team:

I have been using the MHNConnect Web Portal for two weeks. It is a very useful tool that connects us to patients allowing us to ensure that patients have a follow up visit in a timely manner. Overall patients are happy, grateful and somewhat surprised that we actually contacted them first rather then them having to call us.

I remember one instance that sticks out in my mind. I called a mom to set up an appointment; she told me she had tried calling several times but for some reason or another could not get through to set up appointment herself. She sounded so grateful and surprised that we even knew that her child had been in the ER. I went on to explain a bit about the MHN Connect Platform. I am not sure how much she understood me but she was happy we had contacted her and an appointment was scheduled and completed.

Care Coordinator, care team:

The portal has become very successful to both the providers and their patients. It allows the providers to become aware and updated on anything occurring with the health of their patients, as well as helping the patients avoid any future visits or admission to the hospital. We had just started working in the portal and were making great progress by contacting patients to connect with their PCP for their follow-up. We have received many compliments from patients because some of them were unaware that they were supposed to follow up with their PCP's. Some assumed that everything had been resolved in the hospital.

The story that stands out the most was one that touched the heart of me and the patient's provider. Our patient, a baby, with a complicated history, had been admitted in the hospital and sadly passed away. While I was reviewing the portal I noticed that the patient had an appointment for a check up the following day (the appointment had been made about 2 weeks prior to being admitted). I immediately contacted the PCP to see if she had been informed of the child's death. She was in shock in receiving the news, since she wasn't contacted by the hospital. She thanked me for notifying her because she would have called the patient's parents blindly to find out why they had missed their appointment. Instances like this help our PCP's and patient's stay connected.



MHN Connect User Testimonials

January 2012

Care Coordinator:

The Medical Home Network is an incredibly pro-active tool that enables us as a clinic to reach out to our patients in a way that would otherwise not be possible when they are battling sickness or trying to recover. In the three weeks I have been using the MHN portal, I have scheduled many follow-up appointments for patients who have recently been discharged from the hospital but there is one story in particular that remains with me.

Through the MHN portal, I received notice that a young adult patient had recently been discharged from the ER. I was able to speak with the patient's mother who stated that the patient had been transferred over to another hospital that could better assist her and was actually still there. She immediately asked how I knew that her daughter was in the hospital and I explained the MHN portal to her. Aside from being surprised by this new technology, she expressed great interest in scheduling her daughter for an appointment and voiced sincere gratitude that we called to do this. She shared a bit of her daughter's story with me and I could hear the weariness in her voice. In this moment, I realized the supportive nature of the Medical Home Network; it enables us as a clinic to actively love our patients and their families by reaching out to them in their time of need by relieving a small part of their burden through establishing care.



Orange County's MSI Program Has Achieved Measurable Reductions in ER Utilization

January 2012

Through a combination of services provided by Safety Net Connect and integration with the MSI Connect technology platform, the Orange County MSI program has achieved measurable reductions in utilization.

For the four year period beginning April 1, 2007 and ending December, 2011:

  • 44% reduction in Emergency Room utilization
  • 57% reduction in Outpatient services utilization
  • 52% reduction in Inpatient admissions
  • 63% reduction in Inpatient Length of Stay (LOS)