Molina, UNM Partner through Telemedicine
For More Information, Contact: Cindy Foster (505) 272-3322
Sunny Yu, Public Relations Molina Healthcare (562) 901-1039 / (562) 477-1608
The University of New Mexico (UNM) and Molina Healthcare of New Mexico recently formed a partnership to provide patients with more access to specialty care through UNM’s telemedicine program known as Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes). This joint initiative is the first of its kind, making Molina Healthcare the first managed care organization in the nation to work with UNM on such an innovative project.“Our new partnership with Molina Healthcare will give much needed support to rural health care providers throughout the state,” said Sanjeev Arora, M.D. “We know these providers are volunteering precious time during their lunch hours to present cases. Molina’s support means those efforts will be recognized in a meaningful way.”
Under the ECHO model, primary care clinicians – including physicians, nurses, physician assistants and community health workers – are organized into knowledge networks that meet weekly via videoconference to present patient cases. These “virtual grand rounds” are led by UNM Health Science Center specialists who review and discuss the cases with primary care providers and share best practices with them. Today, Project ECHO’s videoconferencing clinics address asthma, mental illness, chronic pain, diabetes and cardiovascular risk reduction, hepatitis C, high-risk pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, pediatric obesity, rheumatology and substance abuse. All of these conditions are characterized by being both common in the population yet complex to treat.
“We’re excited and proud to be the first managed care organization to be partnering with UNM on Project ECHO,” said Eugene Sun, MD, chief medical officer for Molina Healthcare of New Mexico. “Through advancements in technology, like telemedicine, we are able to provide our members with access to high quality specialty care in a more timely and accurate way.”
Within New Mexico, more than 1,000 doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and community health workers have participated in Project ECHO’s clinics and trainings, and Project ECHO has performed more than 10,000 case consultations through its knowledge networks. Dr. Arora created Project ECHO in 2003 to combat hepatitis C in New Mexico, which has very high rates of hepatitis C.
As a specialist, Dr. Arora could only treat 70 to 90 patients a year in his clinic, yet more than 30,000 New Mexicans had the disease. At the time, few physicians in New Mexico were trained to treat hepatitis C. For patients who don’t have access to a specialist where they live, it can be extremely difficult – if not impossible – to get the specialty care they need. Project ECHO first launched its hepatitis C clinic in 2003.
About University of New Mexico
The University of New Mexico is the state's largest university, serving more than 32,000 students. UNM is home to the state's only schools of law, medicine, pharmacy and architecture and operates New Mexico's only academic health center. UNM is noted for comprehensive undergraduate programs and research that benefits the state and the nation. For more information, visithttp://www.unm.edu/
About Molina Healthcare
Molina Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE:MOH) provides quality and cost-effective Medicaid-related solutions to meet the health care needs of low-income families and individuals and to assist state agencies in their administration of the Medicaid program. Our licensed health plans in California, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin currently serve more than 1.6 million members, and our subsidiary, Molina Medicaid Solutions, provides business processing and information technology administrative services to Medicaid agencies in Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, New Jersey, and West Virginia, and drug rebate administration services in Florida. More information about Molina Healthcare is available at www.molinahealthcare.com.