August 22nd, 2018
New Physician Referral Report Identifies Top Barriers to Patient Retention and Care Coordination Within Health System Networks
Kyruus Survey of 200 Physicians Shines Spotlight on Lack of Detailed Provider Data and Scheduling Options; Findings Indicate One-Third of Out-of-Network Referrals Avoidable
Boston, MA – Kyruus today announced findings from a survey of 100 primary care and 100 specialty physicians aimed at better understanding referral practices and uncovering opportunities to improve care coordination. The findings, published in the 2018 Referral Trends Report: Positioning for Patient Retention, highlight providers’ top challenges in making optimal, in-network referrals. While 77 percent of providers surveyed recognize the importance of keeping patients in-network for care coordination, a notable 79 percent say they refer patients out of network. Coupled with other key insights, such findings suggest that improving referral processes can go a long way in helping health systems boost patient retention.
Survey results reveal that providers lack access to the level of information necessary to facilitate clinically appropriate referrals within their networks. Among those who refer out of network, 45 percent say that it’s difficult to determine who is in the network and, on average, they estimate that one-third of out-of-network referrals would be avoidable with more robust information about in-network colleagues. Findings show that scheduling limitations also contribute to patient retention issues – 42 percent of patients leave a provider’s office without a necessary referral appointment booked, despite over 60 percent of providers considering point-of-service scheduling extremely or very important.
Suboptimal referral processes have ramifications for patients, providers, and health systems. For example:
- 72 percent of providers say they or their staff usually refer to the same provider for a given specialty, indicating potential missed opportunities to connect patients with a different provider with more specific expertise and/or earlier availability.
- 42 percent of providers feel they are not practicing at the top of their license all or most of the time, which can hinder professional satisfaction and contribute to disengagement.
- Only 40 percent of providers report always knowing whether or not their referral was appropriate for the patient or whether the patient needed to be re-referred, hindering care coordination.
“Understanding who is in-network and what their specific clinical areas of expertise are has been a long-standing challenge for physicians,” said Dr. Erin Jospe, Chief Medical Officer at Kyruus. “This new research reaffirms the widespread need to empower physicians with better insights and capabilities, so they can make the best referrals for their patients and help guide their care more effectively.”
Wakefield Research conducted this online survey on behalf of Kyruus. All participants are affiliated with a hospital or health system, accept insurance, have been in practice for a year or more, and spend at least 20 hours per week seeing patients. To learn more, download the free research report.
Kyruus delivers proven provider search and scheduling solutions that help hospitals and health systems match patients with the providers best suited to care for them. The ProviderMatch suite of solutions—for consumers, access centers, and referral networks—enables a consistent patient experience across multiple points of access, while aligning provider supply with patient demand. The company’s proprietary provider data management platform forms the foundation of its solutions, powering them with accurate data by coupling data processing with administrative applications. To find out why a Better Match Means Better Care, please visit www.kyruus.com.