3 Bold Predictions from LeadingReach for 2022

2021 was another roller coaster year for healthcare. The strain and fatigue on the industry and its people continued as we all battled new challenges stemming from the emergence of more variants of COVID-19. Care coordination efforts became paramount for practices looking to keep up with patient influxes, many who saw record numbers of patients … Read more

3 Ways Technology Empowers PCPs and Patients to Transform the Health Care Experience and Improve Outcomes

Tech-driven connectivity and collaboration tools empower primary care providers (PCPs) to shepherd patient care, while simultaneously empowering patients to make more informed and strategic decisions about their own health and care journey.

Health care, at its core, is an experience between patients and their health care providers. At worst, clunky technologies, operational processes, and reimbursement hurdles produce a fractured experience, usurping the attention that relationship-driven care needs. In an ideal scenario, those technologies, processes, and payments work seamlessly in the background, enabling the delivery of personalized care where patients are known and understood. And though even the right technology could never replace patient-provider interaction, it certainly can elevate it. Tech-driven connectivity and collaboration tools empower primary care providers to shepherd patient care, while simultaneously empowering patients to make more informed and strategic decisions about their own health and care journey.

Will Patients be Giving a Thumbs Up on their Experiences in 2022?

As we continue to see new variants, subsequent delayed care and other pandemic curve balls, efficiency and optimization are the name of the game when it comes to meeting patient needs. In 2022, we’ll see more healthcare leaders focus on identifying and tracking critical conversion metrics (like their referral-to-appointment ratio and referral response rate) to ensure patients are getting the care they need rather than falling through the cracks, which happens 50 percent of the time with outdated communication processes that involve faxing.

As a result, we’ll also see more provider networks shepherding their patients towards more strategic partners and clinics and away from less responsive, less timely care. The traditional need for healthcare has not changed, even in the face of a global pandemic, but we will see an increased push to engage patients with their care, particularly when it comes medical conditions that require a team approach to healthcare.

LeadingReach Releases New Case Study Analyzing How Collaborative Care Coordination Addresses Social Determinants of Health Challenges

South Texas Physicians Alliance created a successful disease management program leveraging LeadingReach care coordination technology to connect an expansive network of support for its chronically ill patient populations LeadingReach, Healthcare’s Communication Network, today announced the publication of its case study, “Solving Social Determinants of Health Challenges with Collaborative Care Coordination,” examining how South Texas Physicians … Read more

3 Ways to Instantly Improve the Referral-to-Appointment Ratio of Your Practice

It’s no secret that access to healthcare is a challenge for patients. And it’s becoming harder and harder for patients to get appointments with their PCP or the specialists they have been referred to for advanced care. Now more than ever providers and their staff are faced with a growing number of challenges that prevent or delay them from doing what they are all there to do: get patients in front of a doctor to determine how to get them well. One of the biggest villains in this story is the old fax machine. No matter the practice’s type or patient volume, there are so many ways things can go wrong with a fax-dependent process that is nearly impossible to standardize, has no real built-in accountability and is dependent on significant levels of coordinated communication. 

That’s why it’s vital for a practice to have processes, goals, and measurements that align with that core objective of both getting patients to schedule appointments and of course come in for their appointments. The easiest way to accomplish this is by managing the practice’s referral-to-appointment ratio, otherwise known as RTA. Aligning the staff’s objectives to optimize a practice’s RTA ratio means more patients are getting the care they need while simultaneously ensuring a practice’s financial health is secure. 

Why clinicians can’t keep ignoring care coordination

Traditional referral intake systems haven’t changed significantly in the past 30 years. Rather, they are still based on paper and fax referrals that often get lost in the shuffle of busy days and patient care needs. This reliance on old-school methods flies in the face of significant connectivity and communication adoptions that are being successfully leveraged in other industries. Between the barrage of phone calls and faxes flowing between provider offices, provider office administrators struggle to confirm patient information, locate missing labs and medical records, and keep track of inefficient and disruptive back and forth conversations to facilitate quality patient care. With disparate EHRs, scheduling software, and office procedures, provider networks have historically lacked a shared language and a standardized process too easily connect and communicate.

Under this traditional model, even in the best-organized offices, the administrative point person – the patient coordinator – deploys basic spreadsheets or a handwritten sticky note with limited sharing functionality to help make sense of the referral and health data chaos. This type of analog reporting takes hours, and the information and procedures get siloed into that individual patient coordinator’s workflow with no visibility or accountability. As this position is one of high turnover, the knowledge and process efficiency disappears with each resignation. These archaic methods often lead to patients slipping through the cracks and never getting the callbacks needed to close the loop and schedule appointments. While this is a huge issue for patients seeking critical care from providers they are referred to, this also has serious impacts on a full health system’s patient and revenue leakage. Ditching the old school model for streamlined technology can change the paradigm and enhance the care coordination process for both patients and providers.

To view the interview click below:


Top 3 Challenges to Social Determinants of Health Referrals

For South Texas Physician’s Alliance, social determinants of health referral has been a learning experience. The organization, which has joined providers across the country in efforts to address social determinants of health, knew the best solution was connecting patients to social services providers. A patient presenting with food insecurity needs a referral to a food pantry, or a patient with housing insecurity might need the help of a medical-legal partnership. But even with that strategy, organizations are facing an uphill battle, largely in terms of networking.

“There's just so much that we need to learn because it's just not an area in which medicine is used to functioning,” Sheila Magoon, MD, the executive director of South Texas Physician’s Alliance, told PatientEngagementHIT. But through an understanding of how to collect SDOH data, the pain points in social services referrals, and the types of technology and interpersonal partnerships the organization would need, South Texas Physician’s Alliance said it’s on the path to building out a strong community health network.

Improving Revenue, Value-Based Care Using Data

Can you talk about some of the challenges facing health systems in regard to their referral to appointment ratio? How do these challenges impact revenue?

We believe at LeadingReach that this the most undervalued and undertracked metric in all of health care, the referral to appointment ratio. If you ask other organizations, anywhere from Facebook and Amazon all the way down to even nonprofits that are out there trying to grow, everybody tracks their conversion metrics, that classic close rate, if you will.

This is a metric that has gone largely untracked and unmeasured in health care. It's a real shame, in my humble opinion, simply because at the core of it, it's all about getting patients the care that they need in a more timely manner.

Obviously, if you start to look at this from a fee for service perspective and someone who's receiving referrals, there is a lot to gain around the ability to understand and track where your business is coming from and then, obviously, do things to optimize that business and capture as much patient volume as you can, whether you're a small, independent couple of doc orthopedic shop, as an example, or all the way up to the largest health systems in the world.

How can care teams avoid revenue leakage by communicating more effectively with each other while monitoring and facilitating care transitions?

At the end of the day, it's all about, again, getting back to that referral to appointment ratio number and tracking all sources of referrals that come into the business. For the receivers on the receiving end, whether that's a specialist or even things like PT or rehab, it's really important for them to make sure that they're aware of the full opportunity that's hitting their door.

Again, we see all kinds of different things out there since this our business and what we focus on. I see everything from referrals not getting called at all and the standard default is, "Hey, we just wait for patients to call us," to even referrals getting thrown in the trash at 5:00 because an employee wanted to go home. Anything and everything there in‑between.

LeadingReach Expands Partnership with agilon health to New Market

LeadingReach’s technology improves communication and care coordination for agilon’s physician partner groups LeadingReach first worked with Central Ohio Primary Care (COPC) in Columbus and has now expanded to include Pioneer Physicians Network in Akron – representing more than 300 independent primary care providers in total. LeadingReach technology already connects thousands of specialty physicians in the … Read more

South Texas Physician Alliance Leverages LeadingReach to Connect Large Regional Healthcare Ecosystem

LeadingReach helps bring IPA closer to its goal of community wide care coordination across a vast geographic area to improve patient health outcomes AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–LeadingReach, the nation’s largest healthcare communication network, today announced thatSouth Texas Physicians Alliance (STPA), a large independent physician association in southern Texas, has selected LeadingReach to be the platform of choice … Read more