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eConsult Mental Health

Electronic Referral and Consultation to Integrate Primary Care and Mental Health

Leung, Lucinda B., MD, PhD, MPH; Benitez, Christopher T., MD; Yee, Hal F. Jr, MD, PhD

The Journal of Ambulatory Care Management: January/March 2019 - Volume 42 - Issue 1 - p 47–50
doi: 10.1097/JAC.0000000000000258
Original Articles

We describe the implementation of a novel electronic platform for specialty referral and consultation, eConsult Mental Health. This innovation aims to address mental health care access and coordination challenges in the nation's second largest public health system in Los Angeles. eConsult Mental Health is one of the largest documented electronic platforms to facilitate the integration of behavioral health services in primary care. Although implementation has been met with barriers unique to mental health care, eConsult Mental Health appears to be a promising tool to expand the spectrum of care for Los Angeles County safety net primary care providers in patient-centered medical homes.

Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California (Dr Leung); HSR&D Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation, & Policy, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, California (Dr Leung); Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, Los Angeles, California (Drs Benitez and Yee); and Department of Medicine, UCSF School of Medicine, San Francisco, California (Dr Yee).

Correspondence: Lucinda B. Leung, MD, PhD, MPH, West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, 11301 Wilshire Blvd (111G), Los Angeles, CA 90073 (

Support for Dr Leung was provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation VA Clinical Scholars program, the VA Quality Scholars program, and the UCLA Specialty Training and Advanced Research program.

The views represent the opinions of the authors and not necessarily those of the VA or the US government.

The authors report no financial relationships with commercial interests.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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