Avera eCARE Consult

Look to Avera eCARE™ Consult for access to scheduled medical specialty care through high-definition, interactive video technology located at your facility. Better access means better care for the patients you serve.

eCARE Consult by the Numbers
Since eCARE Consult launched in 1993, we’ve grown to offer approximately 35 medical specialties—including infectious disease, pulmonology, cardiology, nephrology and others—and we work with more than 100 participating providers.

During the last 12 months, we’ve experienced:

  • 11,129 total visits
  • 22,556 patient hours saved
  • 2.9 million miles saved
  • $1.2 million in total estimated cost savings

Your Health Care Delivery Challenge

When patients have to travel for a specialty consultation, it often requires them to spend time away from work and family, plus money out of pocket for gas or lodging. In fact, 20 percent of those living in rural or remote regions say they wouldn’t seek medical care if it meant:

  • A long drive
  • Out-of-town lodging
  • Time away from work
  • Travel expenses

For physicians, “drive time” to visit outreach sites could be time better spent caring for patients.

Provide your community with access to specialty care while making the most of physicians’ time when you partner with eCARE Consult.

Benefit from Telemedicine Consultations

As an eCARE Consult clinical site, your facility benefits from enhanced access to a skilled group of doctors, advanced practice providers, nurses and other clinicians, all available to assist your staff in delivering better care for your community.

In our surveys, 98 percent of patient respondents report high satisfaction with their eCARE Consult visits. eCARE Consult allows local residents to:

  • Manage health concerns on a timely basis to avoid complications or more serious issues
  • Receive care close to home
  • Reduce personal expenses from travel and missed time at work

When patients schedule an eCARE Consult visit at your facility, you’ll retain ancillary charges and other health care revenue, rather than sending the patient to a specialty clinic. Many payors also reimburse a telehealth Originating Site fee.

Learn more by reading what some of our eCARE Consult clients have to say.

Collaborate for Specialty Care

No matter the size of your medical clinic or practice, eCARE Consult can supplement the care you provide by connecting medical specialists to rural clinics and giving them the tools they need to collaborate during each visit. In addition, we can assist your staff with medical records, coordinating schedules and more.

For specialty clinics or health systems interested in larger partnership opportunities, eCARE Consult also provides:

  • Telemedicine consultation support to build and improve your outpatient services.
  • Opportunities to realize significant time savings which augment revenue by serving more patients.
  • Reimbursement. In most cases, Medicare and other payors reimburse for rural telehealth services at the same level as in-person services.
  • Strategy, tools, reporting and best practices for successful network expansion.

How eCARE Consult Works

  • Providers refer a patient to a specialist, easily scheduled with eCARE Consult just like a typical office visit.
  • At your local clinic or hospital, patients enter an exam room equipped with a camera and monitor. Under the care of your on-site physician, advanced practice provider or nurse, eCARE Consult virtual visits directly connect you with the off-site specialty provider.
  • Bedside staff may also use diagnostic medical equipment such as a stethoscope or otoscope that transmits to an eCARE Consult specialist. In addition, the “exam cam” provides high-definition views to the consulting physician.
  • Services are billed using the same office visit codes in traditional practice for seamless health care delivery.

eCARE Consult may not be appropriate in all instances. When you receive a request for an appointment, we recommend reviewing the details of the situation and deciding whether to use eCARE Consult or see the patient in person.

To discover more about Avera eCARE telemedicine services, download our Delivering Health Care of the Future Today white paper and request a free consultation.

What Avera eCARE Consult Clients Say

  • "As CEOs, our top concerns are managing the quality of care we provide while balancing costs. Over the years, we’ve not only seen significant cost savings because of eCARE (i.e. being able to hire more APPs), but we’ve continued the same level of the quality of care at the same time. eCARE has been a godsend for us out here.

    “I’ve experienced the benefits of eCARE on a very personal level too. My dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had an infection after surgery. He needed an IV, therapy and access to infectious disease specialists, which would have required hours of travel multiple times a week. Because of eCARE Consult, he received expert care close to home instead. I saw the benefits of what eCARE can do for our patients and community. It enhances and advances health care and the quality of life in rural communities like ours."

    Bryan Slaba, CEO/Administrator
    Wagner Community Memorial Hospital Avera, Wagner, SD

  • "With eCARE Consult, rural patients can more easily obtain specialty services without traveling long distances. Patients have been very pleased with convenience and time-saving aspects of the program. Thanks to the reach of eCARE Consult, patients can be seen sooner and therefore receive treatment sooner, which leads to better patient outcomes.

    “Our specialists also really appreciate eCARE Consult for several reasons. First of all, they’re all about seeing and treating patients in as timely a fashion as possible. Plus, since Avera Medical Group Liver Disease utilizes eCARE Consult with several locations throughout a four-state region, the specialists can reach a much larger number of patients and providers. They appreciate this convenient service and the opportunity it gives them to educate other providers and nursing staff."

    Jerry Bunkers, Clinic Manager
    Avera Medical Group Liver Disease, Avera Medical Group Transplant and Liver Surgery and Avera Veradia Vein Center Sioux Falls

  • "In a rural setting, telehealth isn’t just helpful – it’s a necessity. Our patients typically require multiple visits over multiple months, so eCARE Consult saves them a lot of time, miles and money. With eCARE, we get to follow patients more closely and can see them quicker too. I only travel to outreach clinics a few times each month, but if there’s an urgent need I can see patients almost immediately via eCARE Consult."

    Arvin L. Santos, MD, FACP, FASN
    Avera Medical Group Nephrology Sioux Falls

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