By Kim Dowdell, MD
eConsults are an asynchronous consult exchange within the electronic medical record between care providers. In many ways, it is the formalization and digitalization of the curbside consult. It allows for more comprehensive care to be done in the primary care home by providing PCPs the support they need to handle low-complexity specialty issues. The eConsult project is a value-based program run out of the office of Telemedicine at UVA with integral support from the Department of Medicine. UVA was an early adopter of eConsults, participating in a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation grant facilitated by the American Association of Medical Colleges in 2014 and moving under Telemedicine in 2017.
The service is available to all UVA Primary Care Providers, with all medicine specialties participating in the eConsult program. Medicine specialties are responsible for completing the majority of the over 5000 eConsults submitted to date, with the majority answered within just 24 hours of submission. There is a national uptake trend of eConsults at academic medical centers, and UVA has emerged as a leader in the application of this improved means of patient access. Through our advocacy work with the AAMC, Medicare recently created new CPT codes for eConsults. Our ongoing advocacy surrounds clarification of the parameters of these codes and further engagement with billing and reimbursements opportunities. Advancing our role as a leader in eConsults, the department has produced notable scholarship, with abstracts accepted to national conferences for internal medicine (SGIM/ACP), Hematology (ASH), Gastroenterology (ACG, DDW) and currently have 3 publications in press.
For more information, please contact Kim Dowdell, MD or Samuel Collins, program manager.
Filed Under: Clinical Research