Measuring Practice Success and Patient Care:
Identifying High Cost Specialties

Eric Urquiza, Sr. Vice President of Operations & Client Experience at AristaMD

When you know your patient population, as most at-risk practices do, it’s easy to identify opportunities to deploy eConsults in high-cost specialties. Let’s look at a few of the more expensive specialties and frequently occurring conditions submitted as eConsults.

These common conditions typically result in an eConsult disposition, indicating that treatment options are available in the primary care setting. In Cardiology, eConsults can provide guidance on Abnormal EKGs, arrhythmia, and hypertension. Hematology is one of our fastest-growing specialties. eConsult volume for this specialty increased by over 50% during the past year. Anemia, Leukopenia, and Neutropenia are just a few of the most common conditions PCPs use eConsults to access advice from a specialist.

A Neurology eConsult can support diagnosing and managing conditions like tremors, epilepsy, concussion, and neuropathy.

We see frequent requests that support the treatment of bursitis, fractures, as well as back and knee pain. An Orthopedic eConsult for a metatarsal fracture includes advice like:

  • This is a non-operative fracture.
  • I would counsel the patient to follow a conservative, non-surgical treatment plan using a carbon fiber insert in a regular “sneaker” type shoe or orthopedic hard-sole shoe.
Targeting Healthcare Cost Savings? Focus on High-Value eConsults

Targeting Healthcare Cost Savings? Focus on High-Cost Specialties

At-risk practices focusing on high-cost specialties see the greatest benefits from their eConsult programs — healthcare cost savings and improved patient outcomes. With considerable time and effort, at-risk practices identify patients at high risk of serious health events, such as emergency department visits or inpatient hospitalizations, and prevent them.

At AristaMD, we are taking this strategy to the next level by considering which specialties have:

  • Long wait times
  • Higher costs
  • Address conditions easily managed in the primary care setting

Using eConsults for specialties with these characteristics is the most likely to drive healthcare cost savings, improve outcomes and decrease the risk of:

  • ED use – a costly alternative to a specialist visit.
  • Unscheduled or canceled specialty care appointments.
  • Boomerang appointments to primary care.
Eric Urquiza

Eric Urquiza

Sr. Vice President of Operations & Client Experience at AristaMD

Eric has 20 years of experience driving transformational healthcare IT programs, advancing patient care, improving access and outcomes for patients through technological solutions. He has been successful in leading many strategic client relationships and increasing provider adoption of telehealth solutions, ultimately leading to strong efficacy for underserved populations throughout the country. Eric holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Redlands.

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