Why Referral Matters for Population Health?

Population Health has been the buzzword for some time now and is used excessively by healthcare providers of all kinds and large employers amongst others. One reason for this is, of course, the concept is in itself broad and can include many things.

The basic concept of population health can be defined as understanding healthcare needs of a patient population and proactive intervention based on group variations of healthcare requirements to achieve population health quality outcomes.

Population Health Management proposes a holistic approach to healthcare delivery and better outcome, that is the reason why managing referral network becomes important in the process.

Ensure Continuity of Care

The Providers participating in a population health model have a bigger stake in the continuity of care their patient population has been receiving.National statistics on referral indicates more than 40% of the referred patients do not go to recommended specialists therefore maybe unsettling to general providers. A referral Management solution can most definitely improve those numbers or at least identify the reasons why patients are reluctant to see a specialist.

Keeping the PCP in the Loop

An intelligent medical referral solution allows PCPs to consult with the specialist and make an informed decision in directing patient care. Referral management solution will ensure a good level of communication during and after the referral is complete. Primary providers in the absence of a medical referral solution have no means of knowing the status of the referral at regular intervals. After a referral Primary provider may not be able to know the specialist’s diagnosis and understand the outcome of the process closing the referral loop

Patient Population Requirements

The PCPs who consult several patients a day have no reliable well-documented source to understand the various needs of the population that they serve. The result of lack of capabilities will push PCPs to refer patients to specialists outside of their network to serve and address the needs of a patient.

Employing Analytics

Identifying the right data set from different sources to achieve the measureable outcome is not an easy task. Healthcare industry is slowly adapting to new age technologies and leveraging data insights from the information gathered by analytics tools. For example, if a PCP is able to evaluate the data from the past 6 to 12 months, it will help him understand the strength, weakness and yield more revenue opportunities for the practice and prevent revenue leakage through referrals made outside of the network.