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eConsulting in LA County

LA Care recently announced the investment of $1.5M into an “eConsult” system for 47 LA County safety net sites. The eConsult system will allow primary care doctors to access advice from specialty doctors in order to reduce the need for specialty referrals. A 2009 pilot program found a more than 25% reduction in referrals due to the system. Lowering specialty care means increasing savings.

The system is meant to be an online version of “curb-side consultation,” in which primary care physicians solicit advice from their specialty care colleagues regarding patient diagnosis and treatment.

“In preparation for the influx of new patients due to health care reform and California’s 1115 Medicaid Waiver, L.A. Care is committed to helping safety net providers build capacity and improve efficiency and access to care,” said Dr. Elaine Batchlor, Chief Medical Officer at L.A. Care Health Plan. “The eConsult system is one of the many industry-leading projects that L.A. Care has funded and implemented to improve quality of care for our most vulnerable populations.”

Read more from the KPCC article and press release.