2014 News

California Telehealth Network Partners with Safety Net Connect's eConsult System for Specialty Care Coordination
Innovative telehealth partnership brings specialty care into the primary care office, keeping patients in their medical home.

Newport Beach CA, November 2014

Safety Net Connect (SNC), a leading provider of innovative web-based healthcare solutions for organizations assisting underserved populations, announced that it has been selected by California Telehealth Network (CTN) as a preferred partner for its eConsult system.

SNC's eConsult enables primary care physicians (PCPs) to consult with specialists via a web-based interface at their convenience. With a secure, structured exchange of information and peer-to-peer discussion of patient needs, eConsult facilitates the delivery of specialty care within the PCP's office. In addition, eConsult allows for faster, more qualified specialty referrals for the patients who need them.

This partnership supports CTN's mission to increase access to healthcare for medically underserved and rural Californians with the use of advanced health information technology. The eConsult system helps CTN fulfill this mission by providing:

  • Faster access to specialty care
  • Patient centered medical home (PCMH) care coordination
  • Standardization of the specialty referral processes
  • Reductions in unnecessary specialty visits
  • Continuing education for PCPs

"We see a continually expanding demand for specialty care and a huge shortage of specialists in medically underserved and rural populations," said Chris Cruttenden, president of SNC. "SNC developed eConsult to fill that gap, and we are excited to be working with CTN to improve the delivery and quality of specialty care across the state of California."

"SNC's eConsult is a natural fit for our organization," said Eric Brown, president and CEO of CTN. "Our mutual goal of helping the medically underserved is enhanced by eConsult's unique ability to bring specialty care into the patient's medical home."

About California Telehealth Network

The mission of the California Telehealth Network (CTN) is to promote advanced information technologies and services to improve access to high quality healthcare focusing on medically underserved and rural Californians. An independent non-profit 501c3, CTN has become one of the largest FCC-funded statewide telehealth networks in the nation, connecting over 750 healthcare provider locations. Additional funding has been provided by the California Emerging Technology Fund, the California HealthCare Foundation, the California Teleconnect Fund, the National Coalition for Health Integration, United HealthCare, and the University of California. For more information, please visit www.caltelehealth.org

About Safety Net Connect

Since 2009, Safety Net Connect (SNC) has partnered with public and private organizations to provide a multitude of successful and nationally recognized web-based healthcare solutions for underserved and safety net populations. SNC's innovative solutions have reached over 5 million patients from clients such as Los Angeles Department of Health Services (LADHS), MedPoint, LA Care, Orange County Healthcare Agency, CalOptima, San Diego Healthcare Agency, and Cook County MHN (an Illinois Medicaid Project). For more information, please visit www.safetynetconnect.com



L.A. Care's eConsult Program Performs More Than 150,000 Electronic Consultations

September 2014

L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation's largest publicly operated health plan serving more than 1.4 million members, announced today that more than 150,000 electronic consultations between primary care providers (PCPs) and specialists have been initiated through its eConsult program since it started in 2011.

eConsult is a web-based care coordination platform that enables PCPs and specialists to securely share health information and discuss patient care to make a diagnosis, with the goal of providing the right treatment at the best place in the shortest time.

Read the full article



DHS Specialty Care News, Summer

August 2014

In this newsletter:

  • eConsult turns 100,000: 29 specialty services now available
  • Award Winning Work: eConsult and Teleretinal Screening recognized
  • Specialty-Primary Care Workgroups continue their excellent work: Focus on Expected Practices and ORCHID Order Sets

Read the newsletter



Dr. Mitch Katz Speaks about eConsult during the 2014 Speaker Series On California’s Future from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC)

May 2014

Now that open enrollment has ended, the focus is on costs and benefits of federal health care reform. What does the early data tell us? Please join us for a wide-ranging panel discussion about California’s implementation of health care reform.



L.A. Care Receives $200,000 Grant from Blue Shield of California Foundation to Improve Patient Access to Specialty Care
Nation's largest publicly operated health plan expands eConsult program to enable better collaboration between primary care providers and specialists

Los Angeles CA, May 2014

L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation's largest publicly operated health plan, announced that it was awarded a $200,000 grant from Blue Shield of California Foundation to further develop eConsult.

eConsult is a web-based care coordination platform that enables primary care providers and specialists to securely share health information and discuss patient care, with the goal of providing the right treatment at the best place in the shortest amount of time. eConsult results inreduced wait times for appointments and in many cases addresses the needs of the patient in the primary care setting, reducing the need for patients to see a specialist.

The grant funding will help support several eConsult initiatives:

  • Expand the program to serve additional patients
  • Increase the platform capabilities to support the new behavioral health benefit
  • Design a mobile "app" to further expand the virtual, anytime, anywhere nature of the platform for use by providers
  • Evaluate the impact of the platform on the local safety net

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DHS Specialty Care News, Spring

April 2014

In this newsletter:

  • Successful eConsult Forum: Enchancing the PCP - Specialist Discussion
  • Nurse Practitioner Program: DHS NP students complete specialty rotations
  • ORCHID is coming!: Online, Real-Time Centralized Health Information Database
  • eConsult update!: 77,000 eConsults and counting!
  • Introducing Danny Johnson: The Specialty Care Improvement Team is growing!

Read the newsletter



L.A. Care's eConsult Program Performs More Than 100,000 Electronic Consultations

April 2014

L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation's largest publicly operated health plan, announces that more than 100,000 electronic consultations between primary care providers (PCPs) and specialists have been initiated through its eConsult program.

eConsult is a web-based care coordination platform that enables PCPs and specialists to securely share health information and discuss patient care and make a diagnosis, with the goal of providing the right treatment at the best place in the shortest time.

Read the full article



eConsult highlighted in The Los Angeles Department of Health Services 2012-2013 Annual Report
Message from the Director of DHS , Mitch Katz, MD

January 2014

The rapid adoption of eConsult has been another big success. Historically, patients have had to wait a long time for specialty care appointments. The problem would have been impossible to fix if we sought only to hire more specialists. Specialty care is very costly, and even if we had the money, it is unclear that there would have been enough specialists interested in working in the public sector. Instead, we are using a cutting-edge technologic solution. Primary care providers canconsult a specialist for a particular patient by sending a computerized, confidential note to a specialist. Details about the patient s condition are appended to the note from the medical record, including pictures where appropriate.

The specialist can provide the primary care provider with the information needed to continue caring for the patient in the primary care setting without a specialty visit (e.g., recommend a change in medications), or can ask the primary care doctor to order certain tests without which a specialty visit would be a waste (e.g., a CT scan is needed prior to the visit), or schedule a visit. As you can see on page 28, the ramp up has gone very well: we are performing 1,400 eConsults per week in 16 specialties, with over 120 specialty reviewers, and a response time to primary care physicians of less than three days. The system is a win-win-win for DHS.

For our patients, it means better access to specialty care often without having to travel. For our primary care providers, it means a rapid and direct communication with the specialist and updates on the best way to treat difficult problems. For our specialists, it means seeing thepatients for whom they can add the most value. eConsult is also an important initiative because it encompasses all of DHS as well as our Community Partners.

Read the full report