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Technology Developed at the University of New Mexico Helping to Decrease Healthcare Costs

An innovative model developed at the University of New Mexico to treat chronic and complex diseases in rural and underserved areas of New Mexico is helping to lower the cost of healthcare.   Project ECHO®, created by Dr. Sanjeev Arora, professor and vice chair in the Department of Internal Medicine at UNM’s Health Sciences Center, provides specialty care throughout the state to these populations by linking expert, interdisciplinary specialist teams with primary care clinicians through teleECHO clinics in which the experts co-manage patient cases and share their expertise via mentoring, guidance, feedback and education. The model is now being replicated with ECHO partners at numerous sites in the U.S. and abroad.  Project ECHO links expert specialist teams at an academic hub with primary care clinicians in local communities. Primary care doctors, the spokes in the model, become part of a learning community, where they receive mentoring and feedback from specialists. Together, they  manage patient cases so that patients get the care they need.  To read how this innovative program is also helping to bring down the cost of healthcare, see Collin Krabbe’s May 31, 2018 article, “Here’s one tool being used in NM to ‘stop the bleeding on your health care costs’,” from Albuquerque Business First at https://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/news/2018/05/31/heres-one-tool-being-used-in-nm-to-stop-the.html.   To find out more about Project ECHO, visit the website at https://echo.unm.edu/.