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Rural Health Information Hub

Health Care Partners Foundation

  • Grant Period: 2018-2021
  • Program Representative Interviewed: Rita Torres, Founder & CEO
  • Location: Pueblo, Colorado
  • Program Overview: Health Care Partners (HCP) Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 2007. HCP Foundation aims to improve the well-being of people who are incarcerated in jail systems in Colorado. In 2011, HCP Foundation began using telehealth to provide medical and mental health services through a network of rural jails, hospitals, law enforcement, community agencies, and residents. With the use of telehealth, HCP has successfully created cost-effective, integrated systems that offer 24/7 triage and crisis intervention, medication assistance, and online patient education.

    The use of telemedicine, telepsychiatry, and telecounseling services for people who are incarcerated has improved access to healthcare systems in jails, reduced emergency department visits, and reduced healthcare costs. For telehealth to be effective, HCP Foundation works closely with its providers to ensure adequate reporting and workloads. Rita Torres, founder and CEO, noted the success of the telehealth programs among the providers. Allowing the providers to have a voice throughout program implementation has enabled better reporting and greater connections with patients. HCP Foundation's telehealth program has also established policies and procedures that must be followed when working with a patient. These policies and procedures allow for seamless documentation and quick access to patient information for all providers.

    The use of telecounseling is essential for addressing the root cause of problems that often lead to incarceration. While HCP Foundation's telehealth services focus on the criminal justice system, continuity of care is critical to patient success. HCP Foundation works with the patient upon release and helps them find a new provider, no matter how long it takes.

    In addition to telehealth services, HCP focuses on online officer and staff training, community-based systems, risk mitigation and budget sustainability, electronic medical records, and 24/7 provider-based triage.

Models represented by this program: