Evaluation of LA Care’s eManagement Program

In 2016, L.A. Care health plan, the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan with over two million members, launched a web-based program, eManagement. The program is designed to help primary care providers improve their delivery of behavioral health care services.

Primary care providers who agree to participate in the eManagmement program can screen patients for anxiety, depression, and alcohol use using a pre-screen tool and a follow-up full screen as appropriate. These providers can also consult with a psychiatrist to ensure that they’re following best practices and to get assistance with medication management as needed. If necessary, primary care providers can use the eManagement platform to refer patients to a behavioral health specialist for a face-to-face consultation. The consultation can also be tracked within the program.

To assess the effectiveness of L.A. Care’s eManagement program, CHCF commissioned JSI to conduct an evaluation. Findings were favorable and informed L.A. Care’s decision to continue and scale eManagement.

JSI noted several successes, including:

  • Timely detection of behavioral health conditions and improvement in conditions between visits
  • High provider satisfaction and self-reported increase in knowledge and skills in treating behavioral health conditions
  • Reductions in use of high-cost services (such as emergency department visits) over 18 months
  • Cost savings from reduced specialty referrals because primary care providers were increasingly able to resolve patient needs

JSI also made several recommendations, including:

  • Tailoring the program to better suit the needs of smaller practices
  • Improving user-friendliness of certain features to drive routine use of the program
  • Conducting further analysis to understand the root causes of slight differences in utilization trends by race/ethnicity

A slide deck which summarizes the evaluation is available under Document Downloads.