When the patient referrals add up, you realize that sometimes it takes a crisis to force us to consider other options. One of the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic for physician practices is the need for primary care physicians to refer patients to specialist is increasing while the resources (staff and money) with which to accomplish the tasks are diminished. The traditional primary care to specialist referral process is very labor intensive requiring multiple telephone calls and faxes. An alternative to consider is to automate the referral process through a cloud-based program. Adopting a cloud- based referral systems such as Preferral is a very cost efficient and effective way to facilitate making and receiving patient referrals.
Referral management can completely eliminate the need to have telephone calls or faxes between your offices and the referring physicians.
Some of the benefits to referring physicians include:
- Online referrals
- Cloud-based, no special software necessary for either referring office or yours
- Automatic acknowledgements of the referrals to
- The patient
- The referring physician’s office
- A text to the patient telling them to expect and accept your phone call to set up the appointment
- Audit trail of all interactions with referring physician and patients
- Medical records, labs and X-rays can be attached by referring physician
- HIPAA Compliant
What if you are a specialist practice needing to receive cost-effective referrals? The same software enables you to no longer need a person in your office to answer the phone and take down detailed information from referring physicians. It is all automated in the cloud. No need for faxes or checking insurance eligibility.
Some of the benefits to specialty practices are:
- Receive referrals online
- No phone calls or faxes from referring practices
- Cloud-based, no special software necessary
- Receive medical records, labs and X-rays electronically
- Automatic Insurance Verification
- Automatic electronic notification to the referring physician that appointment has been made
- HIPAA Compliant
- I recommend that every physician practice should convert to a cloud-based referral system.
Author: Thomas H. Stearns, FACMPE
Mr. Stearns FACMPE is retired. After serving as a Medical Service Corps Officer in the US Army he entered Clinic Management in 1976. Over the next 20 years he managed two orthopedic practices in Middle Tennessee. In 1996, he started the Medical Practice Services Department at SVMIC. Tom has served as Chair of the American College of Medical Practice Executives, MGMA Board of Directors, Former Chair of American Academy of Orthopaedic Executives.