Patient leakage costs nearly half of healthcare organizations 10% of annual revenue, survey finds

Healthcare organizations should focus on patient referrals and leakage as they seek to improve financially, according to a new survey commissioned by health technology company Fibroblast.

The August survey, conducted by healthcare consulting firm Sage Growth Partners, involved 104 healthcare leaders, primarily C-suite executives at hospitals and health systems.

Six findings:

1. Fifty-six percent of respondents said reducing patient leakage is extremely important, while 31 percent said it is very important. Only 12 percent said it is moderately important.

2. However, 23 percent of respondents said their organization does not track and report on patient leakage.

3. Additionally, nearly half of respondents (47 percent) said their organization understands where and why patient leakage happens only moderately well. Twenty percent said their organization does this slightly well or not well.

4. Forty-three percent of respondents estimated their organization loses more than 10 percent of revenue to patient leakage.

5. Sixty percent of respondents said their organization doesn't follow up to see if patients were cared for by the clinician they were referred to.

6. One reason organizations don't better manage leakage is that they often have more than one role that oversees leakage, according to the survey.

"To survive, today's healthcare organizations must navigate both the fee-for-service and the value-based world. That means they need to grow revenues while demonstrating better value to payers and taking on more risk," researchers concluded. "At the same time, as organizations manage larger networks of physicians and facilities, they stand to lose considerable revenue and control when patients are referred to other networks or to poorer performing providers within their own network."

Access the full survey here.


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