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How Precision Data Helps Find Pockets of Potential Revenue Through Physician Referrals

Revenue from Physician Referral
The Voice of the Healthcare Business

How Precision Data Helps Find Pockets of Potential Revenue Through Physician Referrals

Many patients appreciate a referral to a medical specialist or institution from a known health care provider, such as a primary care physician. Time and time again, nurses, physicians and other health care providers top the list of most trusted professions1, so patients see these recommendations as reliable and worthwhile.

Doctors also tend to refer to specialists they know and trust. These relationship-based referrals can benefit patients, who are more likely to get better care if the specialist knows their primary care doctor, according to a 2023 Harvard Medical School study2. However, for a large hospital or health system looking to boost referral process efficiency – it’s challenging to quantify and take advantage of these personal relationships.

Precision Data to the Rescue

Bringing more patients into your institution is always essential but it’s particularly important as years of COVID challenges, staff shortages and inflation continue to put the squeeze on the financial health of hospitals and health systems nationwide.

As the saying goes, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” One possible solution with multiple advantages is joining forces with a data partner that can help you expand physician referrals as well short- and long-term revenue. Claims data – particularly when analyzed in context of additional information – can help you identify the ‘top referral providers.’ Finding and engaging primary care doctors most likely to send patients your way can enhance your referral network. Doing so with precision data can boost efficiency.

For example, you may already know that a nearby practice refers patients to you and/or your competition on a regular basis. But do you know which providers within that practice are the ‘frequent referrers?’ Referral rates among family physician practices differ widely, from less than 1% to 67%3. So aiming your resources at all providers at a practice or region can waste resources.

Instead fine tune who you target down to the individual provider level. The best claims data can help here too. Focusing your valuable — and likely limited — resources on the most likely referral sources aligns with the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule.4 Business leaders across industries use this principle to focus their time and energy in terms of greatest return on investment.

Not a ‘One and Done’ Solution

Optimal physician referral strategies rely on another type of relationship as well – the one between your health system and the expert data partner you choose. Search for a firm that will not only assist you with an acute fix, but one that will continue to optimize your referral sources going forward.

It’s important to see optimize your physician referral strategy – for the long term. Loyal patients are likely to continue to come to your hospital or health system when they need care, and loyal primary care physicians are likely to continue sending them to you, over the long-term.

Health and hospital systems deal with a lot of unknowns, but efficient physician referrals need not be one of them. For more tactics to enhance your referral system, see the LexisNexis Risk Solutions eBook.

The DNA of Healthcare

At LexisNexis Risk Solutions, our goal is to provide the healthcare industry with insights and innovations to improve outcomes, grow market share, reduce fraud and increase compliance.

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