Study: Independent Physician Referrals Represent Millions of Dollars in Revenue for Hospitals

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 Hospital News
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Physicians more likely to refer to hospital partners that ease patient-related burdens, such as authorization support and optimized scheduling

SEATTLE, March 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- SCI Solutions, the health industry's leading patient access and care coordination

technology firm, today released its analysis of data from more than 500 independent physicians gathered through Reaction's research ecosystem (formerly peer60). The research purpose was to better understand the patient referral patterns of independent community providers. Among the findings published in "Independent Physician Survey: The Referral Destination Hospital" are indications that more than half (58 percent) of physicians do not have a preferred hospital partner, meaning many hospitals are not realizing the full economic value of community partners and missing an opportunity to become a destination of choice hospital based on their offerings and services.

"For hospitals, health systems and independent physician practices alike, a critical aspect of the business is providing patient-centric experiences that encourage long-term relationships between independent physicians and hospital providers, which lead to significant increases in potential revenue," said Jamie Gier, chief marketing officer of SCI Solutions. "Offering convenience and patient-focused care coordination creates a competitive advantage for hospitals."

The survey reveals two major themes: convenience and communication – and in the service-driven world of healthcare, hospitals need to offer both in order to foster the trust necessary to be a referral destination of choice. Hospitals that eliminate hassles with booking appointments and provide on-time follow ups are more likely to bring in and keep providers within their referral network.

Alternatively, with the increasing consumerization of healthcare, patients have more choices than ever before and want to go where they know they'll get the best care. According to a recent report from Accenture, seven percent of patients have switched healthcare providers due to a poor customer experience, which results in a loss of more than $100 million in annual revenue per hospital. Independent physicians know this too, as roughly half of those surveyed place a high value on patient preference when choosing a hospital partner. Conveniences like self-scheduling, the ability to easily confirm insurance network participation and help with obtaining insurance authorizations are high on the list of preferred services.

Hospitals that strive to provide the best service are considered "top hospitals" that tend to attract more referring partners, as the following survey highlights show:  

  • The percentage of both order and referral volume going to top hospital partners is high. Of the respondents who indicated they did have preferred hospital partners, nearly half indicated that more than 70 percent of their orders and referrals go to top partner(s) largely based on patient satisfaction criteria.
  • Insurance authorizations and self-scheduling options are two ways hospitals can become more attractive to referring physicians. Thirty-eight percent of physicians are more likely to refer to a hospital if the hospital helps secure insurance authorizations on behalf of patients, and 37 percent are more likely to refer to a hospital if the hospital offers self-scheduling tools.
  • In terms of physician self-scheduling, the most important features are convenience and good communication (66 percent identified with appointment confirmations and instructions). Physicians want to refer patients to hospitals that are easy to work with, provide communication back to them about their patients, and make the experience smooth and convenient for the patient. Patient self-scheduling was another important feature.

To review the survey, and full analysis of the findings visit: http://bit.ly/2moUnvd

Methodology: Independent Physician Survey: The Referral Destination Hospital SCI Solutions used data collected through Reaction's platform, a Research as a Service ecosystem with access to more than 500,000 healthcare professionals in order to author this report. The results include responses from 549 independent physicians in the U.S. All decimals in this report are rounded to the nearest percentage point. This may result in certain numerical totals adding up to slightly more or slightly less than 100 percent. The estimates and opinions expressed in this report are extrapolated from the survey results. Excerpts from this report (including charts) may be used for editorial purposes without prior permission from SCI Solutions, provided: SCI Solutions is acknowledged as the source of the content, charts are displayed as published and a link to the full report is included.

About SCI Solutions SCI Solutions improves the health of the healthcare system by enabling provider networks to gain economic value through better community-based care coordination. Operating a cloud-based network for more than 12,000 physician practices and 800 hospitals, health systems and imaging centers, in 300 geographic markets across the United States, SCI connects health systems beyond their traditional boundaries to patients and their community providers in ways electronic health records cannot. Provider networks utilize SCI's service to engage consumers, coordinate patient care transitions, obtain insurance pre-authorization, schedule patients, automate referrals and manage orders. An integrated and easy-to-use business analytics toolset identifies opportunities and monitors performance. As a result, healthcare organizations experience increased outpatient revenue, better coordinated care and higher physician loyalty. For more information, visit scisolutions.com.

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/study-independent-physician-referrals-represent-millions-of-dollars-in-revenue-for-hospitals-300423892.html

SOURCE SCI Solutions



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