The MAVEN Project Uses eConsults to Add Value to Care in Underserved Areas
Allie Clark | 2 min read | December 11, 2019
As a nod to the spirit of the holiday season, we would like to highlight a telehealth program that is all about doing good, giving back, and helping your fellow doctors in the trenches: the MAVEN Project.
The MAVEN Project was first launched in 2014 by Dr. Laurie Green. Fully titled “The Medical Alumni Volunteer Expert Network Project,” it was originally created to give physicians who had retired (or started moving in that direction) an outlet. Through this program, they could still use all the knowledge and experience they had gathered over their lifetime of service to the medical profession in a way that fit with their new lifestyle. With the increasing number of new patients that began pouring in after the Affordable Care Act got off the ground, and the worsening state of physician shortages in rural America, the MAVEN Project found another purpose. It has become a network, entirely based on telemedicine technology, through which specialty care providers are mentoring, educating, and giving advisory consults to primary care physicians working in medically underserved areas of the country.
This entirely-volunteer group of physicians are currently numbered in the hundreds, and although most are retired, an increasing number are not yet retired and are just trying to give back to these courageous doctors in the trenches. To be a part of the team, you are asked to work a minimum of four hours per month. During those scheduled volunteer hours, the physicians are either in pre-scheduled consults with member clinics or mentees, or being on call for requests that come in daily. The MAVEN Project is active in clinics, FQHCs, and small practices at 92 sites in California, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Washington and South Dakota and provides services covering 42 medical specialities.
During a recent Value Based Care Summit held by Xtellingent media, MAVEN Project CEO Lisa Bard Levine spoke on how what they are doing shows how telehealth technology needs to be a real consideration for the medical community. As we continue to make the shift towards a focus on value-based care, telemedicine will be very valuable. The eConsults that the team of MAVEN doctors do has value not only for the patients in those rural and urban underserved areas, but for the providers to help combat burnout and depression, as well as for the health systems and communities as a whole as it makes the idea of taking a job 10,000 miles from another clinic or medical center seem more within the realm of possibility. (See this article in the Washington Post for a great depiction of what life as a rural doctor can be like.) At a time when the medical community as a whole, from lawmakers to health system executives to physicians, is looking at the quality of care rather than the quantity of care as a way to measure success and evaluate problems, this comes as a needful reminder of the vitally important role that telemedicine has to play.
Read the article from mHealthIntelligence about Dr. Levine’s talk at their company’s Value Based Care Summit.
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