Start: May 2013

Funder: Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the GE Foundation


Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is designed to enhance the health care workforce in underserved areas by providing community-based primary care providers with knowledge and support to manage patients with complex conditions. It was developed at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and other funders. Unlike teleconsultations, the goal of ECHO is to expand the capacity of primary care providers to independently manage patients with complex health care needs.

CHCS is providing consultation and technical assistance to support the replication and sustainability of the Project ECHO model across state Medicaid programs. As the Medicaid partner for Project ECHO, CHCS has:

  • Helped establish Medicaid funding for the program in New Mexico;
  • Collaborated with state Medicaid agencies and managed care organizations to identify new opportunities for replication and reimbursement; and
  • Helped to provide technical assistance for an innovation challenge award from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI).

The CMMI award is extending the Project ECHO model, known as ECHO Care, to manage high-need, high-cost Medicaid enrollees through “outpatient intensivist” care teams. The Project ECHO team is also participating in CHCS’ Complex Care Innovation Lab, a national initiative that is bringing together leading innovators to identify and test new strategies for improving quality and outcomes for high-need, high-cost Medicaid beneficiaries.

Project ECHO Medicaid Learning Collaborative

CHCS, in collaboration with the ECHO Institute, is coordinating the Project ECHO Medicaid Learning Collaborative, a multi-state effort to support state Medicaid agencies in replicating the Project ECHO model. With support from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the GE Foundation, the collaborative is fostering state-to-state learning to support implementation, financing and sustainability of the Project ECHO model in nine states: Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, and Utah. The participating states are receiving group and individual technical assistance.

Join the Learning Collaborative

Interested state Medicaid officials should contact Greg Howe at ghowe@chcs.org for more information about joining the Learning Collaborative. ECHO hubs are encouraged to reach out to their state Medicaid agency to propose involvement in the Collaborative.