Telehealth is the use of technology to better harness providers’ time and expertise and connect patients to the care they need more quickly and conveniently. For over a decade, CHCF has worked to expand the use of telehealth in the California safety net.
Today too many patients in California’s safety net face long wait times or travel distances to see providers, especially specialists. The resulting delays in care can have serious consequences on their health.
Telehealth overcomes these barriers by utilizing technology to better harness providers’ time and expertise and connect patients to the care they need more quickly and conveniently. For over a decade, CHCF has worked to expand the use of telehealth in the California safety net in order to improve low-income Californians’ access to specialty and behavioral health care; increase the efficiency and capacity of the health care workforce; and improve quality and health outcomes.
CHCF currently focuses on the following telehealth technologies:
• Live video to facilitate real-time visits between patients and remote specialists.
• Store and forward technology to allow providers to send images and medical information to remote specialists for care recommendations and guidance.
• E-consult platforms to enable primary care providers to consult with specialists on specific cases to determine appropriate care.
In collaboration with a variety of partners, CHCF identifies telehealth solutions that are scalable in the California safety net and works to reduce barriers to the wider adoption of telehealth. CHCF does this by:
• Funding telehealth demonstration projects in close collaboration with Medi-Cal managed care plans and safety net hospitals and clinics.
• Investing in private telehealth companies operating in California’s safety net (through the CHCF Investment Fund).
• Supporting telehealth research, education and policy advocacy, through the Center for Connected Health Policy and other groups.