Community Health Centers Use Telehealth to Boost Specialty Consults
April 12, 2018 - A unique partnership in Washington is using telehealth to connect physicians in 20 community health centers with volunteer doctors across the country for specialist consults.
Community Health Plan of Washington (CHPW), a not-for-profit plan created by the health centers 25 years ago to serve Medicare and Medicaid populations, is working with the MAVEN (Medical Alumni Volunteer Expert Network) Project, a Massachusetts-based organization that pairs volunteer physicians in a broad range of specialties with primary care providers working with underserved populations.
Through the network, doctors at the community health centers are able to schedule free consults via a telehealth platform with appropriate specialists.
“It’s such a perfect match,” says Leanne Berge, CEO of the health plan, which serves upwards of 300,000 – 75 percent of which get their primary care through the health centers. “Having access to a consult in real time is so valuable to us.”