4 Obstacles Specialists Face When Networking With Referring Physicians

There are several new forces arising in healthcare that are putting pressure on specialists to scrape up patient referrals, according to a white paper written by Bricken McKenzie, CEO of AdvisorsMD.

When it comes to patient referrals, the competition is becoming fiercer in the new healthcare environment. Here are the four main reasons specialists are struggling to network with primary care providers and get valuable referrals:

1. Hospitals and health systems continue to acquire private practices. In competitive markets, seven out of 10 patients admitted to a hospital come from its employed physician network, and just 3 of the patients come from emergency room admissions and private practices, according to the white paper.

2. Treatment options continue to expand. The number of specialist and subspecialist categories continues to increase, and that phenomenon spreads referrals out among those subspecialties and respective physicians. "The time [primary care physicians] have to learn about new sub-specialties is extremely limited," Mr. McKenzie wrote.

3. Traditional networking has been left in the past. Primary care physicians used to meet and network with specialists when they were making the rounds at hospitals and attending conferences. According to Mr. McKenzie, more conferences have moved online and physicians have less time for "recreational bonding."

4. Specialists in physician practices are unsure if they should sell or stay independent. As hospitals and health systems work to prevent referral leakage, specialists who are independent will continue to encounter difficulty connecting with primary care physicians.

More Articles on Specialty Physicians:

22 Advisory Opinions Issued by the OIG; 6 Relevant to Hospitals, Surgery Centers and Other Providers
200 Statistics on Physician Compensation
Managing Physician Relationships in an Accountable Care Model

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