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

Nation’s Largest Publicly Operated Health Plan Expands Specialty Care Platform to Serve More Patients

LOS ANGELES – 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.

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 (DHS), 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.

“As L.A. County’s safety net continues to see a rising demand for patient care, we are thrilled knowing the eConsult program is streamlining the delivery of care for those who face the greatest challenges accessing specialty services,” said L.A. Care Chief Executive Officer Howard A. Kahn. “We’re also proud of our safety net partners’ collaboration in embracing technology to better serve patients in the most efficient way possible.”
eConsult aims to enhance the patient experience and outcomes with faster access to specialty care, improved patient quality of care through better collaboration between PCPs and specialists, and reduced costs by eliminating unnecessary referrals and unneeded visits to specialists.

“DHS has found that eConsult has improved our ability to respond to patients’ specialty needs, facilitate transitions of care and more effectively utilize the time and expertise of our dedicated medical providers,” says Dr. Paul Giboney, Director of Specialty Care for Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.

The eConsult platform is used by 2,500 PCPs in 195 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 electronic consultation requests from PCPs.

For more information on eConsult, visit www.econsultla.com.