How To Identify An Under-performing Referral System And Make Improvements For The Same?

For many health systems, referral leakage may equate to millions of dollars in foregone revenue. Every patient who seeks care elsewhere is a lost revenue opportunity now and potentially into the future. Thus it is important for health systems to increasingly focus on minimizing referral leakage while managing referrals. The following are the symptoms of an underperforming referral system which have a negative impact on referral leakage,

  • Disability to identify in-network or aligned providers.
  • Inept or unclear information on what patient types or conditions a provider treats.
  • Limited or no ability to measure the referral management team performance or financial outcomes.
  • Ineffective prioritization and workload management.
  • Increased authorization-related denials and write-offs.
  • Too much reliance on paper-based or manual communication and tracking systems.
  • Increased patient referral leakage due to complicated, cumbersome, or unclear referral processes.

Analyzing your organizations’ opportunity for improvement

The ability to make significant improvements in referral processing efficiency and patient retention depends on the following factors,

  • Degree of process standardization
  • Organization’s accountability
  • Underlying infrastructure
  • Organization of staff
  • Technological capabilities

Accountability and standardization of the process

There is a huge communication gap between the referring provider and receiving provider offices which makes the process inconsistent. Organizations often fail to standardize the process by defining who is responsible for

  • Obtaining prior authorizations
  • Locating a specialist with good access who will treat the patient’s condition
  • Gathering relevant medical records
  • Contacting the patient to schedule the appointment

Organizations with strong referral management programs have developed a consistent and standardized workflow that clearly delineates responsibilities by role. Achieving this level of efficiency requires that operational and clinical leadership collaborate to design and develop policies, procedures, standards, and workflows to support strong referral management practices.

Technology Systems and Capabilities

Despite having a thoughtful and disciplined approach to monitoring and managing referrals, technology systems are often unable to facilitate best practice workflows or deliver the performance data necessary to effectively manage the end-to-end process. Therefore, the following processes have been happening manually,

  • Tracking authorization status
  • Monitoring scheduled appointments
  • Calculating referral conversion rates, staff productivity, and downstream revenue

Furthermore, the inability to share information electronically among providers necessitates increased use of paper-based and faxing processes. Without the proper supporting technologies, there is increased processing effort and workload, risk of lost or inaccurate data, and, most importantly, the potential to delay patient care.

The following are the technological capabilities needed to support the best practice referral, management team,

  • Identifies providers in the referral system
  • Matches patients with the ideal scheduling providers
  • Prompts follow-up when appointments are not scheduled or care is not received
  • Facilitates the transfer of post-visit documentation between providers
  • Supports detailed reporting to manage performance

Close your referral loops with the HealthViewX Patient Referral System

Information Technology enables patient referral workflow automation. HealthViewX Patient Referral Management System simplifies the process and closes the referral loop on time.

  1. The Primary Care Provider (PCP) identifies the need for a referral and initiates the same through the EHR system.
  2. The referral coordination team then validates the referral and does the insurance pre-authorization with the help of HealthViewX solution.
  3. The Intelligent Provider Smart Search feature of HealthViewX Patient Referral Management System helps in finding the right specialist or imaging center easily.
  4. The referral coordination team then sends the referral with the necessary documents to the relevant specialist or imaging center through the HealthViewX platform.
  5. The receiving provider gets notified about the referral and can schedule appointments with the patient.
  6. The patient and the receiving provider get reminders of the appointments thus reducing no-show rates.
  7. The referring provider is also notified about the status of the referral and how it is progressing. HealthViewX timeline view makes tracking and managing the referral lifecycle easier.
  8. HealthViewX tracks and sends reminders to the receiving provider to update the diagnosis, treatment recommendations, care plans in the referral.
  9. HealthViewX makes it easy for the referring provider by automatically updating this information back to the EHR system.
  10. Thus the HealthViewX solution closes the referral loop on time and helps in easy monitoring of the same.

Features and Functionalities

  • Referral workflow automation reduces the time and manual effort spent on a referral. Thus HealthViewX solution improves the efficiency of the process.
  • Patient coordination framework achieved through the patient application that helps in managing appointments and log data for the care plans prescribed by the provider.
  • Automated insurance pre-authorization reduces the work of the referral coordination team and makes the process simple.
  • The Intelligent Provider Search feature helps in finding the right specialist or imaging center in no time.
  • Referral timeline view and communication enables an easy flow of information between the referring and the receiving ends.
  • Scheduler integration gives timely reminders and notifications to the patients and providers about appointments, lab tests, etc.
  • Referral insights and analytics gives the PCPs concrete data of how many referrals were converted to an appointment by a specialty care or an imaging center. It will help in analyzing who responds quickly and to whom the PCP can direct future referrals.

Benefits of closing the patient referral loop in the healthcare industry

  1. Increased Medicare reimbursements –  Medicare considers closing medical referral loop as a benchmark for giving reimbursements. Closed medical referral loops increase the opportunities for Medicare reimbursements for referral marketing.
  2. Streamline referral management – With HealthViewX Patient Referral System in place, the referral workflow is automated and streamlined.
  3. Improved patient care – Reduced waiting time gives patient satisfaction thereby improving the care quality.
  4. Increased productivity – Reduced operational time improves the efficiency of the patient referral system.

HealthViewX Patient Referral Management application helps in closing the referral loop and increases the revenue for the practice. To know more about HealthViewX solution, schedule a demo with us. Our patient referral management experts will guide you through our HIPAA-compliant solution.