Maintaining Independence: Harnessing the Power of Primary Care Physician Referrals
There has been a significant trend toward hospital system consolidation and vertical Integration in recent years. This trend has resulted in an increasingly competitive relationship between independent orthopedic specialists and hospitals. Succeeding in this environment requires independent practices to form deeper partnerships with primary care providers in their service area. What exactly does that mean? Read more.
Forming deeper partnerships with primary care providers in their service area is essential if specialists wish to remain independent. This article examines why this means something more complicated than simply agreeing to “work the patient into the schedule.”
PCPs are Becoming More Selective About Specialist Referrals
Primary care physicians (PCPs) are under increasing pressure to manage the total cost of care for their patients. As a result, they are becoming more selective in their specialist referrals. In fact, payers are providing PCPs data to demonstrate which specialists can deliver high-quality, cost-effective care.
Independent providers who take the time to build a connected, collaborative, patient-centered healthcare ecosystem are the ones who will form deeper partnerships with primary care providers in their service area. These partnerships are crucial to specialists who are committed to remaining independent. To remain successful in this competitive environment, specialists are taking steps to earn new and maintain existing referral relationships.
Deeper Partnerships; Enhanced Collaboration Among Healthcare Providers
A key approach specialists use to differentiate themselves is to improve patient outcomes while reducing costs. With the need for both higher patient and payer satisfaction, PCPs are compelled to refer their patients to these specialists. Independent specialists must align their practices with post-acute providers who are willing to collaborate and follow provider-driven care pathways that optimize patient care for the best outcomes.
Leverage Advanced Technology
Hyperconnectivity across the continuum of care is also crucial to the success of optimizing patient care. Modern technologies, such as care plan-centric healthcare tools built on cloud computing and hyperconnectivity, are increasingly important in healthcare delivery. Patient care coordinators drive episodic care through clinical pathway tools, creating a connected, collaborative, patient-centered healthcare ecosystem. Maximizing care team communication throughout the patient’s episode of care, the digital platform also improves data sharing, utilization analysis, and interoperability. These components are critical to the success of a strong partnership with PCPs.
From “Record to Plan”; The Future of Digital Care Plans and Care Pathways
Care plan-centric systems, which enhance traditional electronic health record platforms, represent a significant step forward in data sharing and interoperability between PCPs, specialists, and post-acute providers. Provider care teams can create evidence-based care plans to facilitate communication and collaboration across the care continuum to improve care coordination, patient outcomes and reduce costs.
Because payers are now sharing specialist performance data with PCPs, specialists must be able to demonstrate that they can deliver high-quality, cost-effective care. Independent orthopedic providers who take the time to build a connected, collaborative, patient-centered healthcare ecosystem are the ones who will form deeper partnerships with the primary care providers in their service area. These partnerships are crucial to orthopedists who are committed to remaining independent. If you want to do what it takes to remain a strong, independent specialist practice, reach out to our team to learn how to develop these closer ties with PCPs.
VP Strategic Partnerships