Five Ways To Reduce Patient Referral Leakage In Hospitals And Health Systems

Hospitals and health systems know that referrals are critical for their business, and failing to manage referrals efficiently can result in loss of revenue. Healthcare providers are losing more than 20% of revenue to patients going out-of-network for care. Most of these hospitals and health systems do not know why and where referral leakage occurs.

It’s only within the past few years healthcare leaders see patient referral leakage as a major issue, and fixing it is their high priority – Missed appointments alone cost the US healthcare system $150 billion annually. Healthcare organizations do not have a solution in place to monitor, track, and report patient referral leakage. They use their electronic health records to monitor and track referral leakage rather than having specific solutions, but healthcare leaders are not happy about how their EHR performs in this particular area.

Today, most hospitals and health systems leverage technology to prevent revenue leakage due to inefficient referral process. Tracking patient referral leakage through a referral solution gives them a complete view of their end-to-end referral process.  Technology helps providers enhance care delivery, improve patient outcomes and use of data, and support collaborative workflows.

Here are five ways to reduce patient leakage:

Understand their referral patterns so far:

Organizations should analyze past data to understand their referral patterns. By tracking the right metrics they will not only gain valuable business acumen but also understand how the hospital is performing. Hospitals today use EHR to get this data but it is not streamlined enough to crunch all the data in a logical and meaningful way.

Improve care-coordination:

Effective and efficient communication is crucial in healthcare. Patients need to receive the right level of care from their care providers. It is important to communicate effectively with all who are actively involved in patient care.

Proceed with a data-driven approach:

A data-driven approach will have a sustainable competitive advantage over those who haven’t. The right way to make decisions is by looking at the data. Understand where the leakage is happening and if it is addressable. Health systems/ Hospitals need to use a data-driven approach to guide patient referrals to the best care option available within the network. Such an approach will help meet both the patients’ and hospital needs.

Use prognostic modeling to know the implications of future referral patterns:

Organizations need to understand how fixing referral patterns today may change future referral patterns by using predictive modeling. It’s essential to analyze how these alterations will impact patient flow, care delivery and coordination with referring providers and payers.

Include it as strategic precedence and discuss at the executive level:

Patient leakage more often gets lost among other priorities at the executive level. Organizations need to make patient referral leakage a strategic priority. Top management should drive change and ensure necessary steps are taken to address this challenge.  

Tracking and understanding referral patterns will help the large hospitals streamline and manage high- overall performance referral networks, decrease patient leakage and notably impact care quality.

HealthViewX Patient Referral Management Solution smoothens the referral process and solves most operational challenges for Large Enterprise Hospitals. Do you want to know more about HealthViewX HIPAA-compliant Patient Referral Management Solution? Schedule a demo now!

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