December 20, 2017

Harvard Pilgrim grants aim to advance telehealth in CT

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care has awarded $32,000 in grants to the Community eConsult Network (CeCN) to expand the use of electronic specialty consults (e-consults) in Connecticut.

The electronic consults aim to make it easier for patients to access specialty consults and care by providing their primary care providers with quick access to a network of board-certified specialists. The specialists can provide medical opinions through a telehealth platform.

A study by the Weitzman Institute, the research and innovation arm of Middletown-based Community Health Center Inc., found between 60 percent and 90 percent of specialty consults over the past five years were resolved by e-consults in two days or less.

Harvard Pilgrim granted $20,000 to support a 12-month e-consult pilot being conducted at Value Care Alliance (VCA) member outpatient clinics, which began with Middlesex Hospital Primary Care last month. Pilot data will guide a plan to implement e-consults at all VCA member organizations.

A $12,000 grant will enable CeCN to work with Community Medical Group (CMG) to implement an e-consult referral process for all 400 primary care physician members of CMG's Independent Practice Association, whose physicians practice across the greater New Haven, Shoreline and Fairfield County areas. Similar to VCA pilot, a custom program will be developed to provide CMG members access to e-consults in a variety of specialties.

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