The California Health Care Foundation's Health Innovation Fund today announced a $750,000 investment in RubiconMD, Inc., whose technology platform connects primary care providers to specialists to enable timely, expert clinical advice through electronic consultations (eConsults). With this investment, CHCF supports an innovative approach to improving access to specialty care that implements eConsults for primary care providers in Medi-Cal managed care plans.
Specialty care is in short supply throughout California; statewide data show that Medi-Cal enrollees are twice as likely as those with employer-based insurance to report difficulty seeing a specialist. Barriers in accessing specialty care are even more acute for Medi-Cal enrollees in rural areas, who report experiencing twice as much difficulty as enrollees in urban areas.
"CHCF sees great potential in using eConsults and RubiconMD's approach to improve access to health care for consumers in low-income or underserved communities in California," said Carl Bouthillette, senior program officer, CHCF Health Innovation Fund. "eConsults can improve access to critical specialty care, especially in rural areas where there are particular constraints to the supply of specialty care providers."
"RubiconMD welcomes this investment and the opportunity it provides to bring eConsults to California Medicaid beneficiaries," said Gil Addo, CEO and co-founder of RubiconMD. "We believe RubiconMD's eConsult program will not only help avoid unnecessary visits to specialists, but will also significantly increase patients' access to specialty expertise, save patients time, and reduce their travel burden."
eConsults on RubiconMD are managed through a web-based platform that matches primary care inquiries to specialists for advice, with an average response time of four hours or less. eConsults empower primary care providers to make more informed decisions on patient care plans and improve productivity. Studies have shown that eConsults can reduce specialty referrals by 40% and decrease wait times by 50%.
About the California Health Care Foundation
The California Health Care Foundation is dedicated to advancing meaningful, measurable improvements in the way the health care delivery system provides care to the people of California, particularly those with low incomes and those whose needs are not well served by the status quo. We work to ensure that people have access to the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford.
The CHCF Health Innovation Fund brings entrepreneurial innovation to support the CHCF mission by investing in new and emerging technologies in the safety net. Find out more at www.chcf.org/innovation-fund.
Founded in 2013, RubiconMD provides a web-based eConsult service that enables primary care providers to quickly and easily discuss their cases with top specialists so they can provide better care — improving the patient experience and reducing costs. We strive to democratize medical expertise, so that all patient populations have access to the care they need. Learn more at rubiconmd.com and carewithoutconstraints.com.