Cisco announced on Friday a ground-breaking telemedicine pilot program initiative with Molina Healthcare, two community health centers in San Diego, and the state of California to provide health and wellness services to underserved communities throughout the state.
More than 15 sites will be equipped to deliver telemedicine primary and specialty care services using Cisco HealthPresence™, a care-at-a-distance technology solution that combines state-of-the-art video, audio, and medical information to create a patient care experience similar to the common medical encounter when patients visit their healthcare providers. As part of this program, Cisco is contributing $10 million of product, services and support.
“Healthcare is in the midst of a major market transition – and technology can make a tremendous impact, said John Chambers, chairman and chief executive officer of Cisco. “This public/private partnership between Cisco, Molina Healthcare and the state of California marks the latest in a series of steps we are taking to help modernize our healthcare system and bring about new models of healthcare delivery.”
Through this California Telemedicine Pilot Project, Molina Healthcare, Mountain Health and Community Services and La Maestra Community Health Centers will use Cisco HealthPresence to deliver primary and specialty care services, and the University of California at Davis, a leader in telemedicine, is currently working to join the ecosystem as well.
The availability of a care-at-a-distance network will give patients easier access to doctors and specialists that equals or exceeds an in-person medical visit. Cisco HealthPresence includes integrated state-of-the-art medical diagnostic equipment to provide healthcare professionals with excellent evaluative capabilities and it allows both doctors and patients to engage in an experience that is more participatory and immersive than in-person visits or telemedicine initiatives of the past.
High-definition cameras and electronic scopes
Through the use of high-definition cameras and electronic scopes, patients will also be able to see and listen to the medical examination in the same way as the clinician, allowing for more informed interactions with physicians. HealthPresence also enables multiple members of a patient’s care team – primary care provider, specialist physicians, care manager, family members and others – to meet in real-time, regardless of location or distance. This supports better care collaboration and patient management.
Although HealthPresence has been piloted for two years in clinical settings, this initiative serves as a proof-of-concept for Cisco and its partners to demonstrate the value of a scalable, cost-efficient telemedicine network that scales the medical workforce and scarce clinical expertise by connecting facilities across the state of California, in real time, for activities such as patient care and education, as well as clinician-to-clinician consultation or education.
If this pilot proves successful, we may all be receiving more of our medical care in this way. The Association of American Medical Colleges has estimated that due to population growth, aging and other factors, the country is facing a potential shortage of 159,000 primary care physicians by 2025. Telemedicine technologies are expected to help scarce healthcare professionals reach the widest patient population most efficiently.
About Molina Healthcare, Inc.
Molina Healthcare, Inc. is a multi-state managed care organization that arranges for the delivery of healthcare services to persons eligible for Medicaid, Medicare, and other government-sponsored programs for low-income families and individuals. Molina Healthcare’s ten licensed health plan subsidiaries in California, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, Utah, and Washington currently serve approximately 1.4 million members. More information about Molina Healthcare and Molina Healthcare of California can be obtained at http://www.molinahealthcare.com.
About Mountain Health & Community Services
Mountain Health & Community Services is a private, non-profit community health center providing comprehensive primary care and behavioral health services to low-income, medically underserved San Diego County residents, with particular reference to residents of rural eastern San Diego.
About La Maestra Community Health Centers
La Maestra Community Health Centers is a 501(c)(3) Federally Qualified Health Center that has been providing culturally-competent quality healthcare and community services in San Diego since 1990. Clients of La Maestra can receive a full range of primary medical services for all ages, as well as oral, behavioral and vision care and education to encourage healthier lifestyles. Social services including insurance eligibility, transportation, translation, housing assistance, a food pantry, and financial literacy and job placement are also available to help the members of this diverse community begin down the path that will lead them to health, well-being and self-sufficiency.
About Cisco Systems
Cisco, (NASDAQ: CSCO), the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate, this year celebrates 25 years of technology innovation, operational excellence and corporate social responsibility. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com.