The healthcare industry is bracing for an unprecedented wave of provider referrals that formed as thousands of procedures were canceled or delayed due to COVID-19, according to new research conducted by Innovaccer. Despite rising concerns, few healthcare organizations are adequately prepared. Innovaccer's recent survey reveals that more than half of healthcare executives (53%) are concerned about this coming wave of referrals, but less than half of respondents (41%) reported their organizations were fully prepared to manage it. This means that most organizations are at risk of increased patient leakage, the resulting loss of revenue, and potentially, control over care costs and quality.
According to the survey, 81% of respondents expect patient leakage to hurt revenues, 48% believe it will make it harder to track care, 45% believe it will make it harder to control costs, and 38% believe leakage will make it more difficult to control care quality. "Patient leakage costs healthcare systems millions of dollars annually, and for providers in value-based care agreements, these losses have the potential to be even greater," said Dr. David Nace, Chief Medical Officer at Innovaccer. Survey respondents were also worried about how patient leakage would affect their fee-for-service operations, with 79% of respondents expressing concern.
"Management of patient referrals is one of the biggest pain points for all healthcare organizations, and the COVID-19 pandemic caused procedure delays and cancellations from coast to coast," said Abhinav Shashank, Innovaccer's CEO. "Innovaccer is committed to helping our partners overcome this challenge and supporting them to build reliable referral infrastructures and analytics capabilities that can help them facilitate seamless referrals and stop patient leakage before it starts."