One out of every three patients is sent to a specialist each year.1

Each year there are nearly 20 million “clinically inappropriate” specialty referrals. These referrals lead to patients experiencing poorer health outcomes, disjointed care, and “an estimated 1.9 billion in lost wages and unnecessary co-pays annually.”2 Excessive referrals are hurting patients and employers.

We believe comprehensive, connected primary care should be commonplace.

At Proactive MD, we design our Health Centers to be the center of the healthcare neighborhood for patients. We want all care to start with us, be managed by us, and return to us when referrals are necessary. With a focus on personal provider-patient relationships and advocacy across the full care continuum, we can provide 80-85% of the care a patient needs, directly onsite.

We set out to prove the power of providing a healthcare home for employees by studying the referral rates of Proactive MD providers.

Our Study

We conducted a retrospective review of electronic medical records between 2018 and 2019. In order to be included in the study, non-corporate clinical staff had to be employed by Proactive MD and make at least one referral in each year of the study period. The primary outcome measured was the proportion of visits that resulted in a referral to a provider outside of a Proactive MD Health Center.

Our Results

Referral rates from primary care can be anywhere from 5% to 60%, while the average is around 9.3%.3 4 While Proactive MD Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants saw a slight increase in 2019, Physicians at Proactive MD saw a decrease in referral percentages during this time. The average referral rate for all Proactive MD providers in our study was 2.8%.

Reducing referral rates will have a ripple effect in the health of a population. When care is managed by an engaged primary care physician, patients see improved outcomes and employers see lower healthcare costs.

Do you want a healthcare home for your employees? We’d love to serve you. Contact us today!

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3160594/
  2. https://hitconsultant.net/2014/11/10/19-7m-clinically-inappropriate-physician-referrals-occur-each-year/#.X0QJEDpKiUk
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22271124/
  4. https://www.ajmc.com/view/outpatient-referral-rates-in-family-medicine