Press release

Inland Empire Health Plan Multi-county eConsult Initiative with Safety Net Connect Improves Specialty Care for Southern California Residents

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Safety Net Connect (SNC), a leading provider of innovative healthcare technology solutions, is pleased to announce the multi-county eConsult initiative funded by Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) and launched in partnership with local healthcare systems, including Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC) in San Bernardino County and Riverside University Health System (RUHS) in Riverside County, is successfully increasing timely access to specialty care and improving care coordination for members enrolled in Medi-Cal (Medicaid) or Cal MediConnect (Medicare-Medicaid Plan).

This groundbreaking payer and provider collaboration creates the infrastructure for a sustainable, long-term solution to the challenges of specialty care access using SNC’s next-generation eConsult technology platform: “Converge”. Following a successful launch with ARMC and RUHS, the program was expanded to include the RUHS Correctional Health System Facilities – bringing the current number of participating locations to 63 sites. Community-based physicians have rapidly adopted Converge to quickly and efficiently connect to specialists – with system utilization increasing over 50% every month and more than 15,000 eConsults completed to date. Twenty-two medical specialties are currently included in the multi-county initiative – with cardiology, orthopedics, ophthalmology and gastroenterology among the most accessed.

“We’re excited to work with IEHP and the Counties of Riverside and San Bernardino to extend eConsult through this innovative collaboration,” said Chris Cruttenden of SNC. “Our Converge eConsult is the only enterprise multitenant solution designed to seamlessly bring together disparate patient populations, provider networks and health systems under one roof to improve access to specialty care. We believe evolving payer/provider partnerships and leadership from plans like IEHP hold the key to closing the gaps in our healthcare system.”

Having processed over 1.5 million eConsult transactions, the SNC Converge platform is the largest eConsult provider in the nation. With the addition of this IEHP sponsored initiative, Converge now connects over 8 million patients to specialty care in Southern California alone – further validating the value and scalability of the SNC eConsult technology for improving coordination and access to care. SNC partners with WISE Healthcare to implement eConsult in all of the IEHP sites.

How eConsult Works

When a patient has a health complaint that may need specialty attention, their primary care physician (PCP) can use the Converge platform to initiate a dialog or electronic consultation (“eConsult”) with a Specialist. Integrated decision support and referral guidelines help to triage requests to participating specialists who can efficiently respond with recommendations for diagnosis, treatment, and referral. The majority of eConsults provide physicians with the necessary guidance to manage patients in the primary care setting – enabling specialists to focus on complex patients, and engage in a more-informed initial appointment. Published outcomes demonstrate shorter specialty care wait times, reduction in the need for face-to-face specialty visits, and lower costs while maintaining high quality of care.

About IEHP

IEHP, Inland Empire Health Plan, is a not-for-profit Medi-Cal and Medicare health plan located in Rancho Cucamonga, California. With a network of more than 6,400 providers and more than 2,100 employees, IEHP serves more than 1.25 million residents in Riverside and San Bernardino counties who are enrolled in Medi-Cal or Cal MediConnect Plan (Medicare-Medicaid Plan). Through a dynamic partnership with providers, award-winning service and innovative products, IEHP is fully committed to providing members with quality, accessible and wellness-based healthcare services.

About Safety Net Connect

Since 2009, Safety Net Connect (SNC) has been a leading creator of innovative healthcare technology that makes it easier for providers and institutions to increase access to care, streamline care coordination, promote evidence-based practices, and improve quality. With a mission to improve health equity, SNC has helped public and private healthcare organizations across the nation successfully reach millions of low-income, underserved individuals with affordable, effective patient-centered care. For more information, please visit