More on Revenue Cycle Management

Losing patients to other providers can cost some healthcare facilities up to 10 percent of their revenue

Most providers are tracking patient leakage in-house through their EHRs, but many aren't fully satisfied with the results.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Failure to manage referrals and patient leakage can result in a loss of revenue, and a new Fibroblast survey details the extent to which this is true, with 43 percent of health executives saying their organization is losing more than 10 percent of their revenue to patients going elsewhere for care.

Meanwhile, 19 percent of executives say patients seeking care at other facilities is costing their organization 20 percent of patient revenue. Twenty-three percent say they don't know how much revenue they're losing due to leakage.


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Due to this trend, referral management has become a higher priority for healthcare leaders, with 87 percent saying patient leak is a major issue. Twelve percent said it's moderately important.

Despite this, almost a full quarter, 23 percent, said their organization doesn't have a plan in place for monitoring and reporting on patient leakage.

Even those who do track leakage aren't exactly sure what to do about it, with 20 percent saying they don't know where and why patient leakage occurs, and 47 percent saying they understand the issue only moderately well. Just one-third say they manage it "extremely" well.

Part of the issue, according to the survey, is that while many leaders within these organizations have some input in referral management, about 67 percent said more than one member on staff oversees the leakage issue, with CEOs the most likely to manage it. Ten percent of executives said the CEO has ultimate responsibility in managing it.


Most organizations use their electronic health records to track patient leakage rather than leakage-specific solutions, which currently lack a set of universal standards. But most aren't happy with how their EHR performs in this area.

About 19 percent of respondents aren't happy at all with the way their EHRs track this particular metric, and 57 percent are only somewhat satisfied.


Currently, most providers are tracking patient leakage in-house, but that's starting to change, as more and more healthcare executives planning to invest in vendor solutions in the coming months and years. About 19 percent said they'd invest in a vendor.

Still, 81 percent said they had no plans to pursue vendor solutions.

More physicians are now leveraging data to prevent money from slipping through the cracks of their revenue cycles, especially as MACRA ties doctor payment to outcomes.

Twitter: @JELagasse

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