Tag Archives: patient referrals

It’s time to stop faxing referrals – Why are we still faxing patient referrals?

One out of every three patients is referred to a specialist each year. These referrals are sent to specialists, imaging centers, etc., through multiple channels like phone calls, fax, emails, website forms, etc., and fax is the most commonly used channel. Despite the array of digital patient referral management software available in the market, health systems are still following the old school model of referring patients through fax machines and paper-based letters.  Ironically, there could be multiple barriers like the reasons listed below for not using the electronic referral communication software

  • Traditional workplace culture
  • Not having the right technology in place
  • Not understanding the software usage
  • Peers not using eReferrals 

Healthcare professionals need to understand the usability, security, and interoperability of the solutions available in the health IT market. Health systems need to adapt to more secure means to send and receive referrals. With that being said, Referral Management Solution is progressively vital for better patient experience and care coordination. Today, in most health systems referral workflows are poorly documented, insecurely sent and are not effective in providing quality care for patients.

Knowing the security consequences of maintaining paper-based systems and physical paper letters is critical – as they could be easily misplaced and accessed by unauthorized people. Some health systems still depend on their EMR to manage their referral process but they need to understand that EMR’s are not equipped enough to handle the end-to-end referral process. Health systems should understand the need of having a good patient referral solution.

Why do health systems need a good patient referral solution?

The healthcare industry is constantly scrutinized for inefficiencies in processes, systems, operations, etc. As a result, health systems are under more pressure to do more with fewer amenities. Inefficient referral processes lead to long lead times and are inconvenient to both patients and providers. A referral solution can streamline communication between the referring provider, receiving provider, patient and other healthcare providers, save time, enhance care quality and a lot more for both patients and providers.

Other Key Benefits of referral solution include

  • Reduced wait times for patients
  • Better referral tracking
  • Improved referral quality
  • Cost reduction
  • Enhanced operational efficiency
  • Secure transfer of patient information
  • Reduced referral leakage

Referral management solution is important for better patient experience, care coordination and to arrest patient leakage. Health systems lose millions of dollars due to referral leakage as every patient seeking care outside the network is lost revenue. Minimizing leakage is an increasingly key focus for many health systems. Health systems need to make substantial improvements in processing referrals efficiently, improve processes and invest in technologies. It is high time for health systems to stop receiving and sending unsafe fax referral and have a streamlined end-to-end referral solution in place.

A streamlined referral management solution has the potential to standardize the referral process, maximize efficiency in the referral process, and improve workflow through technology. Talk to our experts today and schedule a demo to understand more about our Patient Referral Management Solution.

Transform Your Care Practice With A Streamlined Patient Referral Process

 

It is imperative to transform your care practice to deliver value-based care. Promoting and exploring technologies for streamlining various processes is the way forward for improved care quality and care coordination. One such process that requires a transformation in care practices is the patient referral process which is still a tedious, fragmented, and time-consuming task for referral coordinators in many health systems. The conventional patient referral process (both inbound and outbound) results in more stress for the referral coordinators and poor patient satisfaction. This inefficiency in the patient referral process leads to frustrated referral coordinators, physicians, specialists, patients and health systems as a whole. Patients not showing up for scheduled appointments are revenue loss for health systems that are trying to keep their patients within the network for better outcomes.

Today’s patient referral process makes it hard for patients to get the care they need, and healthcare facilities the visibility they need in the process. Additional challenges like lack of communication amongst providers, appointment delays, no-show rates, incorrect referral, etc. all have far-reaching consequences. Ineffective communication between clinical teams leads to poor health outcomes of patients and lost revenue for health systems. It is not a surprising fact, that more than half of the PCPs and Specialists are dissatisfied with the information they receive during a referral.

How to eliminate these challenges in the referral process?

A technological referral solution that offers end-to-end automation and is convenient for patients and providers is required to actively manage referrals and improve efficiency.

Healthcare providers need to adapt to an advanced technological solution that

–          is patient experience focused, process-driven, and easy to use

–          improves PCP, specialist experiences

–          has end-to-end referral workflow automation

–         intuitive dashboards with data insights and analytics

HealthViewX Patient Referral Management Solution is designed to help providers to focus on delivering high-quality coordinated care by keeping track of their patients throughout the care continuum. The solution makes the referral process efficient and simple with no burden on practice staff. It helps improve patient experience, reduces the burden on staff, improves operational efficiency, and overall benefits the health system in processing referrals.

Streamlining the patient referral process can help with

–          better care for individuals and the community as a whole

–          lowered cost and improved operational efficiency

–          reduced paperwork for referrals

–          awareness of in-network and out-of-network providers

–          improved patient experience and value-based care drive

–          better care coordination among providers

–          visibility into real-time data to understand referral patterns, referral staff performance, patient status tracking, and gaps in care.

HealthViewX Patient Referral Management Solution helps solve challenges in all stages of the referral workflow to meet the needs of the patients, healthcare providers, and payers, and also integrates seamlessly with all EMR systems. An intelligent end-to-end automated solution is essential for better provider connectivity, reducing network leakages, improving quality care, and better health outcomes.

Schedule a demo today with our experts to understand how our solution seamlessly solves challenges in the patient referral process.

 

The Role of Referral Management in Value-Based Health Care

What is Value-Based Care?

Value-Based Care is a care delivery model in which healthcare providers are paid based on the health outcomes of the patient. Value-based is a quality-based care model that drives “better health for all” and benefits the community, providers, and payers as a whole. Value-based care helps healthcare providers by helping patients improve their health and reduce the prevalence of chronic illness. This care model is a potential swap for fee-for-service reimbursement based on quality. The providers are paid based on the health outcomes of the patients and are rewarded for helping patients’ improve their health. The ultimate goal of value-based care is to optimize the care for the patient population.

What are the benefits of Value-Based Care?

For Patients – Reduced cost and better health outcomes

For Providers – Better patient satisfaction and improved care efficiencies

For Payers – Stronger control on costs and lowered risk

For Community – Reduced spend on healthcare and improved overall wellbeing

What is a Patient Referral Management Solution?

Patient Referral Management Solution is a patient referral tracking tool for end-to-end referral communication and management. The solution is designed for healthcare organizations to enable them to provide better care with a well-orchestrated customizable workflow. Its primary goal is to enhance and streamline interaction among all care providers involved in patient care for better patient outcomes.  

Role of Patient Referral Management Solution in Value-Based Care

Right from small to large, healthcare providers face a lot of challenges in their referral process. Poor communication and referral workflow among providers lead to diminished care quality and patient experience. Lack of timeliness of the information and inadequate patient information or reports all contribute to poor care continuity, patient dissatisfaction, and poor health outcomes.

A well-orchestrated and automated patient referral solution has the potential to transform referral workflows and help providers improve their patient health outcomes. It helps provide value-based care through better care coordination throughout the care journey. A referral management solution can help improve efficiency, reduce time spent on redundant tasks, cut down on overhead costs, reduce referral processing time thus helps both providers and patients. Streamlined workflows lead to better patient outcomes.  The prime objective of the solution is to improve patient-physician interaction and provide value-based care for better patient outcomes.

Why is Referral Management crucial for Healthcare Providers? 

Referral Management is very crucial for healthcare providers to track and manage referrals, and ensure better patient outcomes. Referral management is essential when

  • referring and receiving providers have different EMRs/EHRs
  • healthcare providers are coordinating between in-network and out-of-network providers
  • health systems are looking to improve patient health outcomes and reduce no-show rates
  • providers want to increase revenue and reduce operational cost
  • health systems want to focus on quality care by using value-based care models 

A major challenge in the current referral process is that most EMRs are not equipped enough to handle the end-to-end referral process. A referral management solution helps healthcare providers to track and manage their end-to-end referral process with complete transparency. The solution helps streamline workflow, reduce clinical errors/delays, cut down the processing time by automating multiple touchpoints, and obtain strategic data/facts for informed decision-making. The prime objective of the solution is to enhance communication among healthcare providers involved in patient care.

By leveraging technology the healthcare industry can provide value-based care for their patients and better patient experience. An end-to-end patient referral tracking ensures timely care, improves care coordination and better outcomes. HealthViewX referral management solution is designed to suit any practice, customized to meet user requirements, and enables data-driven decision support, and provides real-time insights of patient-reported data to promote better care delivery. Schedule a demo today to understand more about our HIPAA Compliant SaaS-based referral solution from our experts. 

Advantages FQHCs Gain From A Patient Referral Management Solution

What is a Federally Qualified Health Center?

 A federally qualified health center (FQHC) is a community-based healthcare organization that provides high-quality primary care and preventive care for people of all ages, regardless of their ability to pay or health insurance status, providing health, oral and mental health/substance abuse programs. Federally qualified health centers are also called Community Health Centers (CHC), 330 funded clinics or Migrant Health Centers (MHC).  FQHCs were originally intended to provide the medically underserved population with quality care to minimize patient load in hospital emergency rooms. FQHC provides access to high quality and preventive medical health care to the underserved, underinsured and uninsured people. 

FQHCs embody community health centers, migrant health centers, health care for the homeless health centers, public housing primary care centers, and health center program “look-alikes.” They additionally embody outpatient health programs or facilities run by a tribe or tribal organization or by an urban Indian association. FQHCs are paid in compliance with FQHC Prospective Payment System (PPS) for medically-necessary primary health services and qualified preventive health services furnished by an FQHC practitioner. Their mission has modified since their founding. Their mission now is to reinforce primary care services in underserved urban and rural communities.   

Community health centers or federally qualified health centers provide critical primary care services to tens of millions of people each and every year. Their role in healthcare makes them necessary access points for patients coming into the vaster healthcare system. Let us see how these organizations use patient referral management systems to leverage their role as a crucial source of patient referrals and enhance the care they can provide for their populations.   

1. Making a more combined provider network:

Right from small to large, FQHCs are moving towards providing value-based care for their patients. Many FQHCs have discovered that requests for better care coordination with specialists go unheard until there is a change in the current referral process. FQHCs have realized technology alone can provide them with the ability to differentiate themselves from their competitors, and help them deliver quality care to their patients, and close referral loops efficiently.  A referral management solution will help them organize, quantify and ultimately shape their referral stream and improve care coordination.

2. Improved patient support and access to care:

Insurance prior authorization is one of the major challenges in the patient referral process. Finding the right specialist, insurance prior authorization, ensuring the patient visits the specialist, getting the information back and updating the information back to the EMR is all crucial in patient care. A referral management solution helps FQHCs to automate end-to-end referral process and helps them close referral loops with ease. This improves patient experience and increases their access to quality care.

3. Improved referral workflows:

Many FQHCs lack care coordination in their current referral process. Manual processes are time-consuming and tedious. Making the referral workflow simple will not only help referral coordinators and patients but will also help the FQHC performance as a whole.

4. Better care coordination and patient outcomes:

In an efficient referral process, patients get the care they need. Right from referring the patient to the right provider, to insurance prior authorization, scheduling appointments, sending reminders, updating the patient information back into the EHR, etc. all contribute to better care coordination and patient outcomes.

5. Increased referral loop closures and MU Credits:

Receiving a report from the provider to whom the patient was referred to and updating that information back into the EHR is critical for FQHCs. Referral loop closure is essential for better care coordination and will help FQHCs improve patient experience and outcomes. A referral solution that is MU stage 3 certified can help the practice with MU credits, as referral transferred using the platform can be counted for MU credits. 

How to reduce referral leakage in large hospitals?

For many large enterprise hospitals, referral leakage may amount to millions of dollars in lost revenue. Patient referrals are an important revenue generator for hospitals and losing patients to other providers can cost these hospitals upto 20 percent of their revenue. Dissatisfaction with the current referral process is widespread and every patient seeking care elsewhere is now, and potentially in the future a lost revenue opportunity for the hospitals.

Signs of an underperforming referral management system that results in referral leakage:

Inability to get complete information to process referrals at one go:

Communicating complete patient information at the time of specialty referral is crucial for high-quality consultation and coordinated patient care. The inability to get complete information leads to patient dissatisfaction, delay in processing referrals and referral leakage.  

Difficulty in finding the right provider within the network:

One of the major causes of patient referral leakage is difficulty in finding the right specialist within the network. Nearly half of the physicians surveyed said they have trouble determining who is in-network. Physicians could avoid referring out-of-network if they had information about all in-network providers.

More time spent in processing each referral:

On average referral coordinators take 15-20 minutes or sometimes more to process each referral on the receiving end just for checking missing patient information. The staff time spent coordinating referrals and their visits is tedious and time-consuming.

High patient no-show rates and referral leakage:

Patient no-show rates or missed appointments cost the U.S. health systems more than $150 billion a year. Lack of quality care and coordination among care stakeholders leads to higher no-show rates or referral leakage, due to which patient experience takes a big hit.

Manual communication and tracking systems:

Manual processes like insurance preauthorization, checking for missed patient information, etc are time-consuming Such time-consuming and cumbersome manual processes may lead to patient dissatisfaction.

Lack of referral analytics for informed decision making:

Lack of data of the referrals flowing in and out of the network affects decision making. Referral analytics gives comprehensive data on the number of patients with various referral status.

The ability to significantly improve the effectiveness of the referral process lies in the referral process standardization and technological capabilities.

Here’s how to reduce referral leakage

Standardization of processes:

Inconsistency in the patient referral process between the referring provider and the receiving provider is common. Right from obtaining prior authorization, finding the right specialist for the patient, collecting the required information for the referral, coordinating for patient appointments, etc. large hospitals are often challenged throughout the process. Hospitals need to streamline their referral workflow to achieve efficiency and have standard workflows and processes to streamline the end-to-end referral process. Achieving this efficiency in the referral process requires well-defined workflows.

Technology solution and capabilities:

Despite having an approach to monitoring and managing patient referrals, existing systems are often unable to simplify referral workflows to effectively manage the end-to-end referral process. Right from tracking authorization status, scheduling appointments, calculating referral conversion rates, staff productivity, etc. all are challenging in the current referral process. A referral solution that is efficient, technologically advanced, and has the capability to automate the end-to-end referral process is the need today. Connecting the information to objectives, understanding the workflow to obtain the information, and most importantly getting the data analytics for informed decision making will be more valuable.

Referral Management Solution – A worthwhile investment

A focused referral management process has the potential to maximize utilization, standardize processes, and enable streamlined workflows. Hospitals need to invest in solutions that will reduce referral leakage and increase patient volumes.

HealthViewX Patient Referral Management solution has features that best suit a hospitals’ Referral Management SystemA 30-minute demo with our team will help you understand how effective our solution can track and manage the referral life cycle.

Why do hospitals need a patient referral management solution?

Today, hospitals face numerous challenges in their day-to-day operations. One of the biggest challenges is managing their high-volume inbound and outbound patient referrals. Right from receiving patient referrals through multiple channels like email, fax, phone, etc., this method is often information-intensive and document-driven, requiring greater control and visibility of the entire process.   

Patients have difficulty navigating through the referral process, and this experience directly impacts the quality of care. Poor referral management negatively impacts hospitals, and hence clinical staff needs to be careful in processing every referral. An inefficient referral process leads to patient dissatisfaction, patient leakage, loss of revenue, missed appointments/no-show rates, overall operational inefficiencies, etc. 

Successful clinical practice depends on effective collaboration and communication among the parties involved in patient care. A solution such as patient referral management for large hospitals has the power to enhance communication beyond the four walls of a healthcare facility. It extends communication to all parties involved in patient care, including the patient. Such solutions can have enormous sway on enhancing the patient experience while driving overall operational efficiency.  

Top reasons why hospitals need a patient referral management solution

1. Doesn’t let you miss any referral

Hospitals send and receive high-volume patient referrals through multiple-channels like emails, fax,  website form fills, direct messaging, etc. It becomes difficult to track every referral, and there are high chances of missing out on them. An end-to-end patient referral solution will bring all referrals in one single queue and eliminates referral leakage. Referrals from physicians are a key source of revenue for hospitals and they would not want to miss out on them.

2. Engages patients throughout the referral process

Hospitals need to involve patients’ in the referral process. Engaging patients will not only increase process visibility for patients’ but also gives them a clear expectation and visibility into their care transition. Involving patients in the referral process directly impacts the standard of care patients’ receive from the hospital. Overall, engaging patients’ will help reduce referral leakages, improve patient satisfaction, and increase revenue.

3. Referral patterns and metrics/analytics

Referral solutions help hospitals understand their referral patterns and appointment conversion rates.  Customized reports and analytics on referrals will help hospitals gain better insight into their business, using analytics such as the metrics dashboard, referral volume, referral patterns leakage rate, wait times, etc. help them with informed decision making.

4. Involves and engages key players for better results

To drive results and for better outcomes, it is crucial to include all the key players’ involved in patient care. Patient referral management solution helps people in different designation achieve their goals at the same time helps provide quality care for their patients. Persona-based reports help each of them in informed decision making.  

 HealthViewX Patient Referral Management solution helps practices in managing their referral network and increasing their revenue. Are you referral inbound & outbound-heavy practice looking to track all your referrals very effectively?  To know about HealthViewX Patient Referral Management System in detail schedule a demo with our team.