2016 News

Medical Home Network expanding innovative health care model to Cook County's safety net population

Chicago IL, December 2016

Medical Home Network's (MHN) innovative model for coordinating care and utilization of web-based technology to improve health care delivery was expanded to the entire Cook County Health and Hospitals System's (CCHHS) Medicaid managed care population thanks to a vote by the CCHHS Board of Directors, MHN announced today.

"Cook County is at a time in our history when we must find new and innovative ways to address the health care needs and challenges of our patient population, while continuing to reduce the cost of care," said Dr. Jay Shannon, chief executive officer of CCHHS. "Our board's decision to continue our partnership with MHN is one of the ways we will be working to achieve that objective. I look forward to the results we will achieve together through growing the role of MHN."

MHN and CCHHS have successfully partnered to deliver better, more efficient health care to approximately 150,000 patients enrolled in CCHHS's managed care plan, CountyCare. Today, CCHHS expands MHN's connectivity to include all of the CountyCare population and services provided by, as allowed by law, mental health providers, substance abuse providers, immediate and urgent care centers, and Cermak Health Services, which provides health care to the 9,000 detainees at the Cook County Department of Corrections. Connecting the broader county medical system of hospitals, clinics and primary care providers enables better care management for patients within the CountyCare system.

"We are excited to continue building on our partnership with the Cook County Health and Hospitals Systems as we expand MHNConnect to more broadly connect vital parts of the health care system," said Cheryl Lulias, president and executive director of Medical Home Network. "Our partnership has been uniquely successful due to a shared commitment to improve the health outcomes of a growing safety net patient population while reducing the cost of care."

MHNConnect is a secure, web-based portal that shares real-time patient information between doctors, hospitals, and clinics and integrates historical health records into one platform to allow for coordination of patient care. MHNConnect generates a real-time alert if a patient is hospitalized and notifies their primary care provider and their care coordinator to provide for timely follow-up care, reducing the probability that the patient will need to be readmitted to the hospital.

MHN currently connects 197 clinics, 21 hospitals, more than 1,600 primary care providers, and more than 150,000 patients in some of Cook County's most vulnerable communities. Since July 2014, MHN has provided more than 1.6 million real-time alerts, facilitated approximately 1,300 follow-up appointments per month, and enabled approximately 100,000 transitions of care for CountyCare members.

By enhancing collaboration, communication and integration across this network, MHN significantly reduces the number of hospital admissions and improves overall health outcomes for patients at safety net health centers like Esperanza Health Centers on Chicago's Southwest Side.

"More than half the residents in our service area experience significant economic, educational, and health disparities," said Chief Executive Officer Dan Fulwiler of Esperanza Health Centers, a founding partner of MHN. "Our partnership with MHN has been invaluable in improving health care delivery for our patients."

MHN's model resulted in a 130.4 percent increase in timely patient follow-up visits, a 25 percent decrease in 30-day hospital readmissions, and a decrease in the overall cost of care for each patient for Esperanza Health Centers.

"MHN is committed to applying our proven, technology-enabled model and track record of results for the entire CountyCare population," continued Lulias.

About Medical Home Network
Medical Home Network is a 501(c)3 non-profit Chicago-based health care collaborative devoted to transforming health care delivery for Chicago Medicaid patients by fostering collaboration and innovation among safety net providers. The Medical Home Network collaborative consists of leaders from 12 health care organizations, who continue to have an equal voice in decision-making at Medical Home Network. In addition, Medical Home Network has grown its connectivity to 21 hospitals and more than 170 primary care entities, using MHNConnect to enable information exchange among disparate providers and monitoring of patient hospital utilization by care managers. The Medical Home Network portal captures 60 percent of CountyCare member patient activity as it occurs, benefitting the overall health care for almost 170,000 CountyCare patients. The MHN ACO, a provider-owned LLC, was launched as one of CountyCare's network of providers in August of 2014. More information is available at www.MHNChicago.org.

About CountyCare
In 2012, Cook County's Health & Hospitals System formed CountyCare enrolling newly eligible Medicaid patients under the Affordable Care Act. CountyCare has evolved into a managed care community network of locally owned and operated managed care organizations, enrolling patients who are eligible for Medicaid coverage. More information about CountyCare is available at www.CountyCare.com.



Gary Comer Inc., Safety Net Connect Acquire vCareConnect, Signaling Next Generation in Healthcare Management
Acquisition Connects Patient, Provider Data via Integrated, User-Friendly Technology

Waukesha WI, September 2016

Today Gary Comer Inc. (GCI) and owners of Safety Net Connect (SNC) announced they have acquired vCareConnect, establishing a next generation technology platform that will improve health care delivery by connecting the entire health care continuum - patient, care manager, and provider - in an intuitive, user-friendly format.

The partnership between GCI and SNC advances proven health information technology that improves care coordination between providers and creates a next generation technology with patients at the center of their own care. This fully-integrated solution will connect patients with their caregivers, empowering them to take an active role in their health care journey.

"I believe investing in cutting-edge technologies holds the key to transforming health care delivery. The acquisition of vCareConnect will facilitate both improved quality and efficiency of care for all patients," said Stephanie Comer, Principal of GCI.

The addition of the vCare platform helps care managers take the next step in care management by fully engaging a patient in their own care in a method of their choice. Through the next generation platform, managers engage in dynamic communication with patients via an easily understandable patient-preferred channel, such as email, through a smartphone app, text, video chat, or a telephone call. Connecting patients to their care through modern platforms that reflect users'' everyday habits engages them more fully in a more approachable, comprehensive and effective manner.

"We are excited to be partnering with GCI and Safety Net Connect to revolutionize care management technology, expand the markets to which we bring our innovative technology, and improve health care for all populations," said Suresh Kumar, founder of vCareConnect.

"Care coordination is often thought of as something that happens between care providers and healthcare systems - but patients play a pivotal role. The vCareConnect acquisition strengthens our mission of increasing access, quality, and health equity through the innovative use of technology," said Chris Cruttenden, President of Safety Net Connect.

"We look forward to announcing the next steps in the coming months as we integrate our technology and vision to launch truly innovative and groundbreaking care management technology," finished Comer.

About GCI
A family-funded private equity firm, GCI is committed to fostering sustainable, mutually rewarding partnerships with passionate people who lead innovative companies. We are dedicated to providing patient capital, vital central-office resources, and ongoing strategic business expertise. With this support system, we relieve our companies from near-term pressures and give them the tools to focus on long-term substantive outcomes that impact all stakeholders, including management, their employees, and the community.

About Safety Net Connect
Since 2009, Safety Net Connect (SNC) has been a leading creator of healthcare technology that makes it easier for providers and institutions to increase access to care, streamline care coordination, promote evidence-based practices, and improve quality. With a mission to improve health equity, SNC has helped public and private healthcare organizations across the nation successfully reach over 5 million low-income, underserved individuals with affordable, effective patient-centered care. For more information, please visit www.safetynetconnect.com.

About vCareConnect
vCareConnect is a technology solution created to improve patient engagement by providing care management tools to all stakeholders. The company''s technology platform provides transparency to the patient, provider, caregiver and care manager, enabling collaboration to achieve better, more efficient health outcomes.



Safety Net Connect's eConsult Technology Brings Specialty Services to School-Based Health Centers in Rural New Mexico
Electronic Specialty Care Consultations to Improve Access, Equity, and Care Coordination for At-risk, Underserved Children

Newport Beach CA, September 2016

Safety Net Connect (SNC), a leading provider of innovative web-based healthcare technology for organizations assisting underserved populations, announced today that the company's award-winning eConsult technology will be used by Connecticut-based Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC) and CHC's research arm, the Weitzman Institute, in a ground-breaking telehealth network to assist New Mexico school-based health centers (SBHCs) in bringing quality specialty care services to underprivileged children in remote areas of the state. The new program has been funded through a $1.1 million award by the federal HRSA Telehealth Network Grant Program.

SNC's eConsult technology, which is used extensively by public and private healthcare organizations across the nation, will provide unprecedented access to specialty care for high-risk children in New Mexico's frontier areas by facilitating web-based communications between SBHC providers and specialty care providers in the areas of behavioral health, cardiology, endocrinology and pulmonology.

"While the Affordable Care Act has greatly improved healthcare access for children - those living in rural areas with limited specialist availability still face substantial inequity," says Chris Cruttenden, President of SNC. "The New Mexico SBHC program is especially significant, as it marks the inaugural application of SNC's eConsult technology within an exclusively youth-based population, paving the way for quality healthcare services for all children, regardless of geographic location."

"SNC's extensive work within rural populations throughout the country makes their eConsult technology the perfect tool for this new initiative," says Mark Masselli, CHC's President and CEO. "We are excited to partner with a mission-driven organization like SNC to bring specialty care to the underserved children of New Mexico."

SNC's eConsult platform provides high quality specialty advice at a patient's local clinic within 48 hours. Published outcomes demonstrate shorter specialty care wait times, reduction in the need for face-to-face specialty visits and travel, reduced emergency room utilization, and lower costs while maintaining high quality of care. As part of the New Mexico SBHC program, CHC will track program success through outcomes measurement in behavioral health, obesity, diabetes and asthma.

About Community Health Center
Since 1972, Community Health Center, Inc. has been one of the leading healthcare providers in the state of Connecticut, building a world-class primary health care system committed to caring for uninsured and underserved populations. CHC is focused on improving health outcomes for its more than 150,000 patients as well as building healthy communities. Recognized as both a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance and a Primary Care Medical Home by The Joint Commission, CHC delivers service in more than 200 locations statewide, offering primary care in medical, dental and behavioral health services. For more information, visit www.chc1.com

About Safety Net Connect
Since 2009, Safety Net Connect (SNC) has been a leading creator of healthcare technology that makes it easier for providers and institutions to increase access to care, streamline care coordination, promote evidence-based practices, and improve quality. With a mission to improve health equity, SNC has helped public and private healthcare organizations across the nation successfully reach over 5 million low-income, underserved individuals with affordable, effective patient-centered care. For more information, please visit www.safetynetconnect.com



eConsult Care Coordination System Offers Effective Interoperability Workaround for Meaningful Use Objective 5 in Los Angeles County
Connecting Medical Home and Specialists - eConsult Also Enables Secure, Electronic CCD Delivery for Providers

Newport Beach CA, August 2016

Safety Net Connect (SNC), a leading provider of innovative healthcare technology that increases care coordination and access to evidence-based care, is pleased to announce that the company''s eConsult technology - a specialty care referral system that enables secure, online collaboration between primary care physicians and specialists - also offers an effective interoperability workaround for providers seeking to achieve Meaningful Use (MU) Objective 5 under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) EHR Incentive Program.

MU Objective 5 requires providers with 100 or more referrals during the MU yearly reporting period to send a Continuity of Care Document or "CCD" (which is generated from a certified EHR system) via a secure, electronic exchange for 10% of their patients. Despite widespread adoption of EHR systems by primary care providers in Los Angeles County, many challenges remain in the secure transmission of CCDs, including:

  • Limited interoperability in health information technology (HIT)
  • Lack of a health information exchange (HIE) network
  • Many specialists have not yet adopted EHRs

Community health centers (CHCs) may be further challenged with financial barriers. The Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC), the largest regional association and advocacy group for nonprofit and free clinics in California, worked with Safety Net Connect to utilize the eConsult system (which Is widely employed by public and private healthcare providers and systems across LA County) as an effective workaround for community health centers in meeting MU Objective 5 requirements.

"eConsult already plays a critical role for underserved and safety net populations in Los Angeles, by increasing access to specialty care at our community and federally qualified health centers," says Aisha Iqbal, Director of HealthIT at CCALAC. "And by providing a secure method for delivery of CCDs, the platform is further supporting these centers in achieving their mission of providing the highest quality and continuity of care."

Using the heath center''s existing workflow to minimize impact to providers and staff - the CCD is generated using the center''s certified EHR technology, then attached and securely transmitted within the eConsult system. Utilizing the eConsult CCD workaround, LA county-based CHCs and specialists are successfully sharing health information to improve care coordination and provide the highest quality patient care.

"Community and federally-qualified health centers serve as the frontline for our nation''s underserved and underinsured populations," says Chris Cruttenden, President of SNC. "We are honored to support their important work, and pleased to be able to provide a bridge solution that enables them to qualify for mission-critical CMS incentives while the challenges of interoperability are resolved."

For more information about the eConsult CCD workaround in LA County, visit the project overview in the Interoperability Proving Ground of www.HealthIT.gov

About Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County
The Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC) is the largest regional association of nonprofit community and free clinics in California. Founded in 1994, CCALAC has 58 members that operate nearly 300 clinic sites throughout the County. These clinics serve nearly 1.4 million patients per year, the majority of whom are uninsured or underinsured. CCALAC is dedicated to serving and representing the interests of its member clinics as providers of quality health care, including medical, dental and pharmacy services. For more information about CCALAC, visit www.ccalac.org

About Safety Net Connect
Since 2009, Safety Net Connect (SNC) has been a leading creator of healthcare technology that makes it easier for providers and institutions to increase access to care, streamline care coordination, promote evidence-based practices and improve quality. With a mission to improve health equity, SNC has helped public and private healthcare organizations across the nation successfully reach over 5 million low-income, underserved individuals with affordable, effective patient-centered care. For more information, please visit www.safetynetconnect.com



Healthcare Organizations in Los Angeles County Earn eConsult Certification from Weitzman Institute
Community Clinic Association of LA County and Three Prominent Community Health Centers Utilizing Safety Net Connect's eConsult Telemedicine System Participate in a Course Designed to Facilitate Best Practices in Organizational Change and Care Management

Newport Beach CA, August 2016

Safety Net Connect (SNC), a leading provider of innovative web-based healthcare tools for organizations assisting underserved populations, is pleased to announce that four Los Angeles (LA) County healthcare organizations have earned eConsult Certification in the inaugural session of Connecticut-based Weitzman Institute's "eConsult Practice Facilitator Certification Training" - a new, independent educational program for healthcare organizations that utilize electronic store-and-forward consultation technology, or "eConsult."

Participating in the Certification program were four LA-based healthcare groups: Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC), the largest regional association and advocacy group for nonprofit and free clinics in California; and three Community Health Centers (CHCs) that have been using SNC's eConsult system for two or more years - Northeast Valley Health Corporation, one of the nation's largest CHCs; Arroyo Vista Family Health Foundation, a nonprofit, community based Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC); and Hubert H. Humphrey Comprehensive Health Center, one of seven comprehensive health centers operated by the LA Department of Health Services (LADHS). Attendees included administrators and medical officers with a common goal of utilizing eConsult data to drive lasting change.

eConsult is an online collaboration tool designed by SNC that electronically connects primary care physicians with specialists to bring cost-effective, high-quality specialty care into the medical home. The eConsult system provides clinics with a wealth of population and practice management data, and Weitzman's eConsult Certification curriculum is designed to give eConsult program administrators actionable insights to increase information sharing, meet quality standards, and inform new care processes - inspiring a vision of telehealth's growing role within clinic workflow management. Organizations with Certified eConsult facilitators will be better positioned to achieve key meaningful use and care management objectives.

"CHCs across LA County are adopting new technologies such as SNC's eConsult - a cost-effective model for enhanced continuity of care and improved health outcomes," says Aisha Iqbal, Director of HealthIT at CCALAC. "The Weitzman eConsult Certification provides the CCALAC team with excellent tools and resources to help our members' maximize the full potential of the eConsult system to promote positive change within their organizations."

"So many parties and roles are needed to implement change - it can be a challenge to incorporate the varying ideas and needs within an organization," says Raymond Perry, M.D., Director of Hubert H. Humphrey Comprehensive Health Center. "We need easier and more effective ways to learn from each other and make decisions, so we can move forward in agreement on priorities and plans for change that help us achieve our mission. The certification program has given us real-world methods for integrating telehealth into our workflows - and actionable strategies for sharing the vision with our team through positive communication and collaboration."

"The Weitzman eConsult Certification program provides healthcare leaders with tools and techniques to translate the insights from the eConsult system into actionable strategies that can be employed across their organization," says Chris Cruttenden, President of SNC. "eConsult has significantly improved specialty access and care coordination for individual patients - we are excited to see the resulting data leveraged at the population level, to further improve healthcare outcomes, costs, and efficiency."

About Safety Net Connect
Since 2009, Safety Net Connect (SNC) has been a leading creator of healthcare technology that makes it easier for providers and institutions to increase access to care, streamline care coordination, promote evidence-based practices and improve quality. With a mission to improve health equity, SNC has helped public and private healthcare organizations across the nation successfully reach over 5 million low-income, underserved individuals with affordable, effective patient-centered care. For more information, please visit www.safetynetconnect.com



Safety Net Connect's eConsult System Links California State Hospital's Norwalk Facility with LA County Department of Health Services for Unprecedented Access to Specialty Care
Expert Specialty Advice Delivered Through Electronic Consultations - Promoting Efficiency, Cost Reduction, and Appropriate Medical Care for Psychiatric Patients

Newport Beach CA, June 2016

Safety Net Connect (SNC), a leading provider of innovative web-based healthcare tools for organizations assisting underserved populations, is pleased to announce that California Department of State Hospitals - Metropolitan (DSH-Metropolitan), one of five DSH-managed California state psychiatric hospitals caring for patients who have been mandated for treatment by a criminal or civil court judge, will use SNC's eConsult system to provide patients with onsite specialty care services and referrals through the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LADHS).

DSH-Metropolitan, located in Norwalk, Los Angeles County, operates 750 beds for psychiatric patients who typically have more medical issues than the general population. Historically, obtaining specialty care for state hospital patients at county medical centers has been a disjointed process between separate entities and facilities - oftentimes resulting in emergency room utilization for non-emergent issues like dermatology, endocrinology, or gastroenterology. SNC's eConsult system creates unprecedented connectivity and collaboration between DSH-Metropolitan physicians and LADHS specialists at the LAC + USC Medical Center, providing direct access to specialty care through electronic consultations and pre-qualified referrals.

How eConsult Connects DSH-Metropolitan with County Specialists. SNC's eConsult technology facilitates a convenient online connection between DSH-Metropolitan staff and LAC + USC specialists - allowing them to easily share notes, charts, and labs to create individualized patient plans in a timely fashion (often in just 1-2 days). eConsult gives DSH-Metropolitan physicians a method for resolving many specialty issues directly on campus, which alleviates the stress, expense, and liability associated with transporting patients offsite. For patients who need a face-to-face, eConsult provides an avenue for pre-qualified specialty referrals to the LAC + USC Medical Center, reducing the burden of ER utilization for non-emergent issues.

"At DSH-Metropolitan, we house an aging population of chronically severely ill patients," says Dr. Michael Barsom, Executive Director of DSH-Metropolitan. "Our 60-bed skilled nursing facility is always full, and there is always a waiting list. eConsult gives us a direct link to specialty care - it's like being right there on the LAC + USC campus. It eliminates the need to transport patients for an initial evaluation, and often provides specialty care without the need to even leave the building at all, which saves time, effort, and expense."

"DSH-Metropolitan is a dedicated, enthusiastic partner," says Chris Cruttenden, President of SNC. "We are thrilled for this opportunity to help them connect with LADHS for enhanced onsite specialty care and electronic referrals. We look forward to a lasting relationship with DSH and the potential for extending our services to the statewide DSH network."

About DSH-Metropolitan
DSH-Metropolitan is one of five state hospitals run by the California Department of State Hospitals (DSH) to care for patients who are under a civil conservatorship or have committed or are accused of committing crimes related to mental illness. The DHS mission is to provide evaluation and treatment in a safe and responsible manner, seeking innovation and excellence in hospital operations across a continuum of care and settings. The hospital partners with colleges and universities throughout Southern California and provides opportunities for elective rotations for medical students and resident physicians. For more information, please visit www.dsh.ca.gov/Metropolitan

About Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LADHS) is the second largest municipal health system in the nation. The LADHS mission is to ensure access to high-quality, patient-centered, cost-effective health care to Los Angeles County residents through direct services at DHS facilities and through collaboration with community and university partners. For more information, please visit www.dhs.lacounty.gov

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



Safety Net Connect's eConsult Telehealth Technology Expands Specialty Care Access for HealthyCT Members, in Partnership with Community eConsult Network
High-Risk, Underserved Patients Receive Specialty Advice in Their Medical Home Within 2 Days

Newport Beach CA, May 2016

Safety Net Connect (SNC), a leading provider of innovative web-based healthcare tools for organizations assisting underserved populations, is pleased to announce that HealthyCT, Connecticut's non-profit health insurance CO-OP, will utilize SNC's eConsult technology under contract with Community eConsult Network (CeCN) (a program of Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC), Connecticut's largest primary care provider for the underserved, and CHC's Weitzman Institute) to provide timely access to quality specialty care for high-risk, underserved HealthyCT members.

Based on exceptional results of a year-long eConsult pilot within CHC, CeCN was established to serve as an eConsult hub - not only for CHC patients, but also for patients across Connecticut and beyond. HealthyCT's agreement with CeCN opens the door for patients and providers across Connecticut to gain access to SNC's valuable eConsult tool.

In March 2016, HealthyCT rolled out a customized version of the CeCN eConsult program - powered by SNC's award-winning eConsult technology platform - to Community Health Centers across Connecticut, with plans to expand the program to additional practices in the coming months. Fully funded by HealthyCT, eConsult is provided at no cost to participating centers or patients, in an effort to improve care coordination and communication between primary care physicians (PCPs) and specialists, increase specialty care access, and reduce healthcare costs.

The HealthyCT eConsult system gives participating PCPs a convenient way to connect with specialists in areas such as cardiology, dermatology, ophthalmology, pain management, and endocrinology - with more specialties to be added over time. When a patient has a concern that may need specialty attention, PCPs can use the eConsult portal to securely submit questions and relevant patient information such as chart notes and lab results - and a specialist will review the information and provide advice within two business days. This eliminates wait times and travel for those who do not require a face-to-face, keeps more patients in their medical home, and reserves specialty appointments for pre-qualified individuals.

"CeCN has a nationwide mission to help organizations such as HealthyCT leverage next-generation technology like SNC's eConsult platform to improve healthcare for underserved populations," says Daren Anderson, MD, Director of Weitzman Institute, and Vice President, Chief Quality Officer of CHC. "Because eConsult technology gives primary care physicians convenient and direct access to specialists, we are seeing outstanding outcomes in continuity of care, access, cost reduction, and quality of health."

"We are thrilled to be part of CeCN's efforts to expand eConsult across the nation in partnership with pioneering organizations like HealthyCT," says Chris Cruttenden, President of SNC. "What an exciting advancement in role of telehealth technology for improving healthcare access, coordination, and equity for millions of Americans."

About HealthyCT
Founded by physicians, HealthyCT opened for business in 2013 with a mission to provide Connecticut residents with comprehensive health insurance and easy access to quality healthcare. It is committed to developing an innovative, progressive health plan that ensures the delivery of patient-centered care for individuals, families and businesses of all sizes. Unlike traditional for-profit insurance companies, any profits generated by HealthyCT are to be used to stabilize or reduce premiums to consumers and businesses, and/or to enhance plan benefits and services. For more information, please visit www.HealthyCT.org

About Community eConsult Network
Community eConsult Network (CeCN) is a novel collaboration of primary care practices, payers, state government, and academia led by Community Health Center, Inc. Partners include: Community Health Center, Inc., Weitzman Institute, UConn Health Center, Penobscot Community Health Care of Maine, and select private practice groups across Connecticut. CeCN links primary care practices to specialty care providers through eConsult technology to increase access to specialty care for medically underserved populations; to improve efficiency, health outcomes, and quality; and to create better communication and collaboration between primary care providers and specialists. For more information, please visit www.weitzmaninstitute.org/econsults

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



Connecticut Medicaid is First in Nation to Approve Reimbursement for eConsult Telehealth Solution from Safety Net Connect in partnership with Community Health Center, Inc.
In a Landmark Decision, Underserved Medicaid Recipients in Connecticut Are Eligible to Receive Free, Timely Access to Specialty Care via eConsult Technology

Newport Beach CA, May 2016

Safety Net Connect (SNC), a leading provider of innovative web-based care coordination solutions, is pleased to announce that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) have approved payment by Medicaid to federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in Connecticut for electronic consultations (eConsults) with medical specialists. SNC's proprietary eConsult platform is utilized by Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC) to provide increased access to expert care for the state's medically underserved population.

Daren Anderson, MD, Director of Weitzman Institute, and Vice President, Chief Quality Officer of CHC of Connecticut has been instrumental in working with the Department of Social Services to obtain reimbursement status for the eConsult program. "Garnering Medicaid reimbursement approval for healthcare initiatives is a complex process," explains Anderson. "Eligible programs must demonstrate solid proof of efficacy, cost savings, and ongoing value; we were able to meet these objectives through the positive outcomes of a year-long pilot that utilized SNC's eConsult technology to enhance specialty care within our CHC health centers."

With limited specialty providers available to treat Medicaid patients, appointment wait times can be as long as a year, leading to healthcare disparities, higher rates of disability, and complications in chronic diseases. SNC's eConsult system has been proven to increase access to timely, cost-effective specialty services for underinsured and underserved patients, many of whom live in rural areas with limited access to specialty care. CHC has used SNC's eConsult technology to facilitate over 1000 eConsults between primary care physicians (PCPs) and specialists at FQHCs across Connecticut, in fields such as cardiology, dermatology, and endocrinology - demonstrating an ability to provide specialty advice for patients through the PCP office in less than one day on average, with 89 percent of specialty needs resolved within the medical home. As of January 2016, CHC has begun contracting with state and federal agencies, as well as private insurers, to provide the SNC eConsult system to medically underserved patients across the U.S.

"What an honor for CMS to recognize SNC's eConsult technology as a valuable tool for enhanced specialty care within Medicaid populations," says Chris Cruttenden, President of SNC. "Together with CHC, the Weitzman Institute, and health care providers across the nation, we are excited to leverage our innovative telehealth technology as a cost-effective means for breaking down the barriers of inequity and disparity - offering better health for all, regardless of geographic location or socio-economic status."

How SNC eConsult Works. When a patient has a concern that may need specialty attention, PCPs can use the eConsult portal to securely submit questions and relevant patient information such as chart notes and lab results - a specialist will review the information and provide specific advice, often in less than two business days. This eliminates wait times and travel for those who do not require a face-to-face, keeps more patients in their medical home, and reserves specialty appointments for pre-qualified individuals.

About Community Health Center
Since 1972, Community Health Center, Inc. has been one of the leading healthcare providers in the state of Connecticut, building a world-class primary health care system committed to caring for uninsured and underserved populations. CHC is focused on improving health outcomes for its more than 130,000 patients as well as building healthy communities. Recognized as both a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance and a Primary Care Medical Home by The Joint Commission, CHC delivers service in more than 200 locations statewide, offering primary care in medical, dental and behavioral health services. For more information, visit www.chc1.com

About The Weitzman Institute
The Weitzman Institute is the research and innovation arm of Community Health Center, Inc., dedicated to inspiring primary care innovation and improving health outcomes for the medically underserved. With its expertise in quality improvement, the Weitzman Institute is partnering with organizations around the globe to transform the primary care delivery system through research, training and education. For more information, visit www.weitzmaninstitute.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



Partnership HealthPlan of California Rapidly Expands Successful Pilot of Safety Net Connect eConsult System to Increase Specialty Care Access Throughout Northern California
TeleMed2U to Provide Integrated Televideo Services for Enhanced Specialty Network

Newport Beach CA, April 2016

Safety Net Connect (SNC), a leading provider of innovative web-based healthcare solutions for organizations assisting underserved populations, is pleased to announce that Partnership HealthPlan of California (PHC) has expanded the implementation of its SNC eConsult pilot to begin a full rollout that includes twelve northern California health clinics with poor access to specialty care. This pilot expansion launched in February 2016 - a full year earlier than anticipated.

PHC's initial six-month eConsult pilot commenced in May 2015 within two federally qualified northern California health centers serving a large Medicaid population with inadequate access to specialty care. The pilot enabled PHC-affiliated primary care physicians at Open Door and Marin Community Clinics to electronically consult with specialists in four distinct specialty fields, facilitating the delivery of specialty care within the primary care office and providing timely services for members living hundreds of miles from a specialist.

The overwhelming success of the eConsult pilot has fueled PHC's desire for a swift expansion to twelve additional rural and suburban clinics and six total specialty fields, with plans for further inclusion of prospective provider and specialty groups in the following months. As PHC serves over half a million members in fourteen counties, the eConsult system has the potential to reach hundreds of northern California clinics.

"Expanding the eConsult program will serve our mission of providing timely, high-quality specialty care to many individuals," said Dr. Robert Moore, Chief Medical Officer for PHC. "The proof is in the numbers. SNC's eConsult technology provides the ability to make positive changes in the health and wellbeing of thousands of rural northern Californians in the convenience of their primary care offices, saving valuable time and resources."

As part of program expansion, PHC had broadened its specialty network beyond the four initial fields involved in the pilot by partnering with TeleMed2U, a company that offers real-time access to physician specialists through the use of televideo services. In collaboration with TeleMed2U, PHC has been able to provide patients with access to specialty care services that were previously in short supply, such as Rheumatology, Endocrinology, Infectious Disease, and Dermatology. PHC plans to add more specialty services to its eConsult system as more specialists become available.

"Throughout the pilot period, our partnership with PHC has been productive and inspiring," said Chris Cruttenden, President of SNC. "Both organizations have laser focus on best practices for improving specialty care access and increasing health equity among underserved populations. It speaks volumes that PHC has decided to share the benefits of the eConsult system within a broader group of clinics and specialty care providers, including the outstanding team at TeleMed2U."

About Partnership HealthPlan of California

Partnership HealthPlan of California (PHC) is a non-profit community based health care organization that contracts with the State to administer Medi-Cal benefits through local care providers to ensure Medi-Cal recipients have access to high-quality comprehensive cost-effective health care. PHC provides quality health care to over 560,000 members. Beginning in Solano County in 1994, PHC now provides services to 14 Northern California counties - Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Marin, Mendocino, Modoc, Napa, Shasta, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Trinity and Yolo. For more information, visit www.partnershiphp.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). www.safetynetconnect.com



HealthyCT, Weitzman Institute Team on eConsults

Middletown CT, March 2016

By the Hartford Business Journal

Connecticut nonprofit health insurance co-op HealthyCT has signed a contract with the Weitzman Institute's Community eConsult Network for electronic consultations (eConsults) between primary care physicians and specialists.

HealthyCT says it's the first private insurer in the state to pay for eConsults for its insured through this program.

The eConsult program will allow primary care physicians (PCPs) to confer and share charts and films securely with colleagues in several specialties and receive answers to their questions within two business days. There is no cost to the patient and eConsults eliminate wait times for specialty care appointments and support better care coordination by the PCP, according to a joint news release.

eConsults are first being rolled out to HealthyCT members who see primary care docs at Community Health Centers. The program will expand to practices enrolled in HealthyCT's Advanced Practice Medical Payment Model.

The eConsults program initially will be available for referrals to cardiology, dermatology, ophthalmology, pain management and endocrinology.



Apps and Technology Help Low Income People Access Healthcare

Chicago IL, March 2016

A report by Medill News Service on healthcare in Chicago features eConsult!

Read the full article



Safety Net Connect's eConsult System Recognized at 2016 HIMSS Conference
Electronic Specialty Care Coordination Is Transforming Healthcare Access & Quality for South LA's Underserved

Newport Beach CA, March 2016

At a HIMSS Conference presentation yesterday, Sajid Ahmed, Chief Information & Innovation Officer of Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital (MLKCH) highlighted the role of Safety Net Connect's (SNC's) eConsult system in L.A. County and the potential to support a "medical home" model.

Launched in July 2015, MLKCH implemented the infrastructure for a connected "e" hospital, including telehealth tools like eConsult, to provide specialty-care coordination for South Los Angeles's safety net population. South L.A.'s ethnically diverse, low-income, underinsured community of over 1.35 million has long struggled with barriers to care such as unreliable transportation, transient housing, low health literacy, and chronic health conditions. Prior to MLKCH, Ahmed worked at L.A. Care Health Plan and helped to launch eConsult for L.A. County. L.A. County's adoption of SNC's eConsult system helped overcome obstacles to specialty care access including long appointment wait times, no-shows, inconsistent protocols, lack of coordinated care between providers, and medically unnecessary referrals.

In his HIMSS presentation, Ahmed talked about the role of eConsult in overcoming barriers to access by facilitating efficient specialty care management through electronic coordination between primary care and specialty care providers. Initial outcomes demonstrated faster access to high quality specialty care, offering electronic consultation services from over 432 specialists in 86 specialties - and 30% of cases resolved in the medical home without the need for a specialty appointment.

"The eConsult system allows patients to remain in their medical home and resolve issues more quickly," said Ahmed. "It minimizes transportation barriers, and it means less time away from work. Benefits like these have increased our patients' satisfaction with their care to 94.4 percent, as compared to a California peer group at 86 percent. The cost implications are significant as well; more efficient care coordination, better utilization of specialty care services, reduction in re-admission rates, and timely post discharge follow-up will help keep healthcare costs under control."

"The innovative work of Sajid Ahmed and the MLKCH team is changing the way this nation thinks about the delivery of healthcare for underserved populations," said Chris Cruttenden, President of SNC. "We are thrilled to be a part of this important undertaking, helping to shape the future of the medical home model with technology assisted care coordination across the continuum."

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). www.safetynetconnect.com



Los Angeles County Department of Health Services Offers Safety Net Connect's eConsult Solution to Address Zika Virus in Collaboration with the LA Department of Public Health
Electronic Portal Designed to Help Physicians Quickly Identify, Counsel, and Triage Suspected Zika Virus Cases within LA's Underserved Safety Net Population

Newport Beach CA, March 2016

Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LADHS) and Los Angeles Department of Public Health (LADPH) Acute Communicable Diseases in collaboration with Safety Net Connect (SNC), a leading provider of innovative web-based healthcare tools for organizations assisting underserved populations, are pleased to announce an innovative eConsult portal that provides physicians with important information and advice regarding the recent Zika virus outbreak, a mosquito-transmitted infection that may be associated with birth defects such as microcephaly, intracranial calcification, and other abnormalities.

Declared a "Public Health Emergency of International Concern" by the World Health Organization, the Zika virus outbreak has left public health officials searching for solutions to facilitate timely communication among healthcare practitioners. Leadership at LADPH, LADHS, and SNC have collaborated to develop a proactive technology solution that addresses this critical need for peer-to-peer provider communication to improve response time and quality of care for patients. In early February, LADHS addressed the urgent need for a Zika virus action plan within LA County's population of 10 million underinsured and underserved by adding the Zika Virus "specialty" to their eConsult platform.

Zika Virus eConsult facilitates communication between frontline LADHS and LADPH healthcare providers and knowledgeable Specialists with expertise in how to treat and manage the virus. Through the eConsult online portal, physicians are walked through a step-by-step, standardized protocol for testing, managing, and communicating with patients regarding the Zika virus infection, including up-to-date CDC guidelines and geographic risk information, plus an ultrasound appointment triage system for pregnant women who may be at risk.

"We have employed a similar application of eConsult to manage peer-to-peer communication for the infectious disease Tuberculosis within our population. eConsult provides us with a nimble and effective platform for responding to emerging infectious diseases like the Zika virus outbreak." says Dr. Paul Giboney, Director of Specialty Care for DHS.

"The Zika virus has left physicians and patients overwhelmed with breaking news reports - yet hampered by a lack of standardization in detection and testing protocols," says Chris Cruttenden, President of SNC. "We are honored to be a part of LADPH-DHS's proactive plan, which will bring time-sensitive resources to medical personnel for more informed patient care."

About Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. www.PublicHealth.LACounty.gov

About Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LADHS) is the second largest municipal health system in the nation. The LADHS mission is to ensure access to high-quality, patient-centered, cost-effective health care to Los Angeles County residents through direct services at DHS facilities and through collaboration with community and university partners. www.dhs.lacounty.gov

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). www.safetynetconnect.com



Community Health Center, Inc. and Safety Net Connect Announce Expansion of eConsult Specialty Care Network to Increase Access for Underserved and Underinsured Populations Across the Nation

Newport Beach CA, January 2016

Community eConsult Network, Inc. (CECN), a subsidiary of Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC), Connecticut's largest primary care provider for the underserved, and Safety Net Connect (SNC), a leading provider of innovative web-based healthcare tools for organizations assisting underserved populations, today announced a nationwide expansion of CECN/CHC to improve access to specialty care services for patients of health centers throughout the U.S.

This expansion of eConsult services aims to extend the outstanding results of the New England eConsult Network to the rest of the nation through Federally Qualified Health Centers and other primary practice (including private) partnerships. The national rollout includes increasing the number of eConsult specialty fields. CECN/CHC will partner with TeleMed2U to provide specialty care consults to rurally located patients, allowing them to receive the care they need without having to travel many miles to a specialty clinic.

"This exciting national expansion is inspired by the extremely positive outcomes we have seen throughout New England," said Daren Anderson, MD, Director of Weitzman Institute, and Vice President, Chief Quality Officer of CHC. "Over the coming months we will be working closely with SNC, TeleMed2U, and clinics across America to replicate these outcomes on a nationwide scale. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of millions of underserved individuals."

Since its inception, CECN/CHC has increased access to timely, cost-effective specialty services for New England's underinsured and underserved patients, many of whom live in rural areas with limited access to specialty care. These patients struggled with long appointment wait times and delayed care. To date, CECN/CHC has facilitated over 1000 electronic clinical consultations between PCPs from CHC and Penobscot Community Health Care - Maine's largest federally FQHC - and specialty physicians at UConn Health in fields such as Cardiology, Dermatology, and Endocrinology. The CECN/CHC initiative has demonstrated an ability to provide eConsults for patients in less than one day on average, and to date 89 percent of participating patients' specialty needs are resolved within the medical home.

How eConsult Works
When a patient has a health complaint that may need specialty attention, their PCP can use eConsult to submit questions and relevant information such as chart notes and lab results via a web-based, HIPAA compliant communication system developed by SNC. This easy-to-use system provides step-by-step decision support and built-in specialty-specific referral guidelines to efficiently triage patients' needs; participating specialists provide recommendations for diagnosis, treatment, and referral. While some patients may need to see a specialist, a majority of eConsults provide PCPs with the necessary recommendations to manage patients in the primary care setting with no need for a face-to-face consult, resulting in improved efficiency and patient care.

"The beauty of the eConsult system is that its reach knows no geographic boundaries," said Chris Cruttenden, president of SNC. "Because this is an Internet-based network, we have the ability to partner with marvelous organizations like CHC and TeleMed2U to offer high quality, timely specialty care to millions of people - whether near or far, rural or urban, insured or underinsured. With technology-based solutions like eConsult, disparities and inequity no longer overshadow an individual's ability to receive quality healthcare."

About Community Health Center
Since 1972, Community Health Center, Inc. has been one of the leading healthcare providers in the state of Connecticut, building a world-class primary health care system committed to caring for uninsured and underserved populations. CHC is focused on improving health outcomes for its more than 130,000 patients as well as building healthy communities. Recognized as both a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance and a Primary Care Medical Home by The Joint Commission, CHC delivers service in more than 200 locations statewide, offering primary care in medical, dental and behavioral health services. For more information, visit www.chc1.com

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