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Project ECHO Sunflower Health Plan

About Project ECHO

Project ECHO® (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is a self-paced lifelong learning and guided practice model that revolutionizes medical education and exponentially increases workforce capacity to provide best-practice specialty care and reduce health disparities.

Project ECHO creates a bridge to allow collaboration and knowledge sharing. The heart of the ECHO model™ is its hub-and-spoke knowledge-sharing networks, led by expert teams who use multi-point videoconferencing, such as Zoom, to conduct virtual clinics with community providers. In this way, primary care doctors, nurses, and other clinicians learn to provide excellent specialty care to patients in their own communities.

The ECHO model is not traditional “telemedicine” where the specialist assumes care of the patient, but is instead tele-mentoring, a guided practice model where the participating clinician retains responsibility for managing the patient.

Project ECHO is not just a learning and mentoring network; it is also a professional community. Participants are encouraged to ask questions, provide input and guidance to one another, and engage actively in discussions, both during and after a session.

For more information please visit the ECHO Institute at the University of New Mexico's Health Science Center.

Four principles comprise the Project ECHO model. The combination of these principles results in a unique and successful approach for improving clinician satisfaction, enhancing clinician knowledge and self-efficacy, and improving patient satisfaction and outcomes:

  1. Amplification: Use technology to leverage the expertise of a multidisciplinary team.
  2. Best Practices: Share best practices to reduce disparities and standardize care.
  3. Case-Based Learning: Leverage case-based learning and guided practice to master complex cases.
  4. Database: Apply web-based tools to monitor outcomes.

What is a hub?

A regional center where a team of subject matter experts for an ECHO program is located, replicates the ECHO Model™ and runs their own ECHO program. Sunflower Health Plan is a Project ECHO hub.

What is a Case Study?

Project ECHO is a case-based learning option for care providers. A case is an overview of an individual’s medical history and overall health.

How much does it cost to participate?

Participation is free. You generally only need to have standard internet connections and a computer.

Is continuing education available?

Case by case basis depending on the program. This information will be listed for each ECHO series.

How is patient or member information protected?

All the patient/member information presented in a session are de-identified and reviewed before the session. A HIPAA announcement is given prior to the start of each session to remind both specialists and clinicians about the importance of preserving patient confidentiality.

Who should participate?

Individual clinicians of all levels are welcome and highly encouraged to participate in sessions, including physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, psychiatrists, social workers, community health workers and pharmacists. Team participation is encouraged, as team-based care is the ideal model for enabling higher-level care delivery and task shifting.

Sunflower Health Plan Project ECHO Team

Mohamed Radhi, MD; Nan Perrin, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA; Kristine Meier

  • Chair - Dr. Nan Perrin, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA
  • Co-Chair - Dr. Mohamed Radhi, MD
  • Facilitator - Kristine Meier, M.S. Ed
  • Project Manager - Erin Pettera

Contact: projectECHO@sunflowerhealthplan.com

Sunflower Project ECHO

Continuing Education Credits Offered

The Office of Continuing Education, School of Medicine, University of Missouri is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The Office of Continuing Education, School of Medicine, University of Missouri designates this live educational activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing is approved as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the Midwest Multistate Division, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Midwest Multistate Division Provider Number MO1022-6. Up to 1.0 contact hour will be awarded to all individuals who attend the entire session and complete the evaluation.

Sunflower Project ECHO: Care Coordination

We invite you to attend this series, which will focus on:

  • The expectations of care coordination
  • The unique needs of members who may benefit from care coordination
  • How to access supports related to care coordination

Please plan to attend our Project ECHO sessions Thursdays in October and November from noon to 1:00 PM via Zoom video conferencing.

Case Study Recommendations:

  • Look into the OneCare Kansas program to see if he would be eligible for services.
  • Although not the least restrictive option, an Assisted Living Facility of Homes Plus in his desired county may offer a more supported and structured living environment to meet his physical health needs, while he waits for a more independent housing option with the low-income apartments,
  • Another option would be to look into group homes or supported housing options through the mental health center.
  • It was identified that smoking while on oxygen poses a huge barrier when it comes to finding any type of housing (apartment, ALF, Homes Plus) that would accept him, given the huge risk that poses.
    • Reintroduce smoking cessation programs as part of his goal for permanent housing.

Case Study Recommendations:

  • Council member on having Naloxone/Narcan on hand in case of an overdose. Help member obtain and fill a prescription
  • Connect member with community housing supports, particularly ones who follow the Housing First model
  • Member may be eligible for the OneCare Kansas program. Check availability in her county of residence
  • Consider a psych evaluation while inpatient at the hospital for diagnostic clarity, including assessment for cognitive delays
  • While inpatient, consider an SUD/RADAC assessment to establish inpatient substance abuse treatment, should member choose to move forward with this
    • From here, work with member on a step-down to community-based SUD and mental-health treatment
  • Consider accessing services via telehealth, to see if member would be more agreeable to this than going in person

Session Topic: Care Coordination During Pregnancy

Speaker: Molly McHenry, RN, Care Manager, Sunflower Health Plan

Session Topic: Behavioral Health

Speaker: Diana Erickson, LCPC, NCC Senior Director Behavioral Health, Sunflower Health Plan

Session Topic: HCBS and Care Coordination

Speaker: Michele Heydon, BA, HCBS Director, Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS)

Session Topic: Transitions to Employment

Speaker: Cheryl Laaker, ACRE, Project SEARCH Statewide Coordinator, WORK Program Lead, Sunflower Health Plan

Register for the Sunflower Project ECHO: Care Coordination

Note: After registering you will be given the opportunity to save the series to your calendar of choice. You will also receive an invite via email. Please do not forward your invite as it is specific to each person. Each participant must register individually.

Previous Series

Presentations and recommendations for previous Project ECHO sessions can be found on the Project ECHO archive page.