Building a More Valuable Doctor Referral Network

April 2, 2022

Doctor Referral Network

Build a doctor referral network that adds value to the practice.

Creating a strong doctor referral network is the foundation of profitable practice operations. These networks pave the way for more streamlined referrals, more effective use of resources, and higher patient satisfaction and outcomes.

The ongoing challenge, however, is establishing and nurturing these relationships to remain financially beneficial for all parties involved.

Successful referral channels prioritize convenience, value, and patient satisfaction. Providers can drive savings without sacrificing quality by keeping these three key elements at the forefront of any referral network development strategy.

Convenience for your doctor referral network

The ease by which referring physicians and their administrative staff can communicate and coordinate with a specialist is essential to developing sustainable, high-value referral channels. This must extend beyond simple responsiveness. Specialists can use technology to achieve this, but in and of itself, there are other answers than technology. By ensuring a solid flow of information between providers and making it easy for administrative staff to make appointments for patients quickly, your doctor referral network and relationships will become more robust and more effective.

Value for your referral partners

One of the most potent ways to reduce medical care costs is to improve efficiencies and avoid duplication of services. These can be achieved through a robust exchange of information and immediate care coordination. By prioritizing this aspect of the referral process, providers can reduce costs and further solidify their status as preferred referral partners.

Patient satisfaction delivers more referrals from your network.

A patient’s experience with a specialist begins before the referral is ever made. Specialists that accommodate the patient’s appointment preferences make it easier for them to receive timely care. This sets the stage for a positive patient experience, affecting the reputation among patients and referring physicians.

The benefits of a strong doctor referral network are deep and varied. In addition to creating a loyal relationship with referral partners, practices can enjoy an improved brand reputation in their communities and a sustainable patient pipeline.

The question then becomes how to target the most potentially lucrative referral partners and how to build those relationships.

A recent survey published by Modern Healthcare showed that nearly 75% of primary care physicians usually refer patients to the same provider for a given specialty. This indicates that physicians may inadvertently ignore specialists who could provide more appropriate patient care.

Specialty practices can begin developing these essential relationships by identifying optimal referral partners. Using claims data, specialists can determine which physicians have a higher volume of high-value referrals to their specialty. They can then more effectively and efficiently target only those with the highest potential of becoming long-term, profitable relationships.

Specialists can better nurture these relationships by sharing the win-win benefits of improved care coordination, reduced costs, and optimized efficiencies. And when patients are referred to the most appropriate specialists, outcomes and patient satisfaction improve. This further solidifies the relationship between the providers and helps strengthen long-term financial success for both. Find out how referral management software can help you keep these three goals in focus.