“E-consult provides better care and makes our providers happier. We’ve had great adoption throughout our system.”

-Michael Mulligan, MD, Chapa De Indian Health

“E-consult is a strategy to address critical issues such as specialist access and wait times, patient satisfaction, and quality of care.”

-Jana Katz-Bell, MPH, Assistant Dean, UC Davis School of Medicine and Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing

“When cases end in an in-person visit, e-consult provides significant benefit because the specialist has access to the labs and images beforehand.”

-Paul Giboney, MD, Director of Specialty Care, LA County Department of Health Services

E-Consult News & Events

  • Responses to Stakeholder Comments on Medi-Cal Telehealth Policy Revision California’s Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has released a document of DHCS responses to stakeholder comments on its telehealth policy revision. The responses, which were discussed during DHCS’s December 17th webinar, includes content on e-consult policy. Access the document here.
  • E-Consult Policy and Procedure from Partnership Health Plan of California (PHC) PHC’s Telehealth Policy manual includes definitions of telehealth and telemedicine terminology, explanations covered benefits, and reimbursement guidelines for providers. PHC promotes telehealth to improve access and quality of care as well as to provide “expert advice and specialty consultation to primary care providers (PCPs) in the PHC network” through e-consults. The manual, which was updated in October 2018, includes several pages on PHC’s e-consult policy.
  • Research on E-Consult’s Economic Impact A retrospective analysis of e-consult use in Connecticut reveals that after adoption e-consults generated an average savings of $82 per patient per month. The research, published in the December issue of Health Affairs, concludes that expanded use and reimbursement of e-consult for Medicaid patients “could result in substantial savings while improving access to and timeliness of specialty care and strengthening primary care.”


Expanding Safety Net Access to Specialty Care With E-Consult:

Best Practices, Tools and Templates for Payers, Providers, Policymakers and Patient Advocates

Community engagement, specialty access and staffing considerations, systems and process assessment

Planning and financing considerations for successful e-consult implementation and rollout

Guidelines for launching, expanding across communities and continuously improving e-consult

Best practices for measuring quality, satisfaction, cost effectiveness and efficiency

E-Consult Research and Publications

“Unique Educational Opportunities for [Primary Care Providers] and Specialists Arising From Electronic Consultation Services”

[E-consult] services have been praised by [primary care providers (PCPs)] and specialists for their educational value, in particular their ability to enrich practice-based learning. …[E-consult] programs promote reflection by PCPs and specialists, improve collegiality and professionalism between primary and specialist care, inform continuing professional development activities and maintenance of certification, and enhance training programs’ teaching of effective communication and care coordination. (Academic Medicine, January 2017)  Read more >

The E-Consult Toolkit, made possible through funding from Blue Shield of California Foundation, aims to spread adoption of e-consult to improve safety net access to specialty care. It provides healthcare administrative professionals, medical directors, IT specialists, primary care physicians, and specialists with information and tools for e-consult readiness assessment, planning, implementation and scale and evaluation.