LOS ANGELES – 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.
The program is the largest rollout of its type in the nation, consisting of the second largest public health care delivery system in the nation, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, and one of the largest safety net clinic associations in the state, Health Care L.A. Independent Physicians Association. Also playing central leadership roles are MedPOINT Management and Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County. L.A. Care provides major funding and management.
eConsult reflects L.A. Care's commitment to improving access to quality health care for low-income and vulnerable residents throughout the county. The safety net, the system that provides health care to the poor and uninsured, is overwhelmed with the volume of patients needing access to specialty care. eConsult aims to help ease this situation using new online technologies.
"Many thousands of underserved patients throughout the county face significant challenges getting the specialty care that they need, when they need it," says Howard A. Kahn, L.A. Care Health Plan Chief Executive Officer. "eConsult has proven that it can improve care coordination, and we are excited that more and more providers are adopting the technology. We look forward to expanding the program to ensure that as many patients as possible receive the care that they need and deserve."
eConsult aims to enhance the patient experience with faster access to specialty care, improve patient quality of care through better collaboration between PCPs and specialists, and reduce costs by eliminating unnecessary referrals and decreasing visits to specialists.
"eConsult is a critical part of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services efforts to provide effective, responsive, high quality specialty services to our patients while improving customer service," says Dr. Paul Giboney, Director of Specialty Care for Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. "eConsult has allowed our specialists and primary care providers to collaborate around patient care in a way that was not possible before."
The eConsult platform is used by 2,300 PCPs in 194 community clinic/health center sites across L.A. County that collectively serve 500,000 low-income individuals and families. More than 30 different types of specialist physicians are available to review eConsults from PCPs.
"eConsult has become an increasingly valuable tool to extend specialty expertise and care to this growing group of people," says Dr. Bruce Greenfield, Medical Director of Health Care L.A. Independent Physicians Association. "With 100,000 eConsults having been performed, there are 100,000 individuals who have been able to access excellent specialty care for their medical problems in a rapid, convenient, and cost-effective way."
For more information on eConsult, visit www.econsultla.com.
About L.A. Care Health Plan
L.A. Care Health Plan (Local Initiative Health Authority of Los Angeles County) is a public entity and community-accountable health plan serving residents of Los Angeles County through a variety of health coverage programs including L.A. Care Covered™, Medi-Cal, L.A. Care Cal MediConnect Plan, L.A. Care’s Healthy Kids, L.A. Care Health Plan Medicare Advantage HMO and PASC-SEIU Homecare Workers Health Care Plan. L.A. Care is a leader in developing new programs through innovative partnerships designed to provide health coverage to vulnerable populations and to support the safety net. With more than 1.6 million members, L.A. Care is the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan.