Healthcare Strategic Growth Blog

Reversing Patient Outmigration and Physician Referral Leakage

Posted by Jennifer Keller on Jun 22, 2021 8:42:00 AM

Address Blockages and Pinpoint Opportunities for Growth

By Jennifer Keller

Retaining and improving bottom line profits is a key priority for healthcare planners and strategists. Often when considering how to grow, patient outmigration and physician referral leakage are top of mind. Patient retention and well-maintained physician relationships are key to maintaining a strong financial standing, especially for rural hospitals.

“25% of rural hospitals nationwide are at a high risk of closing unless their financial situations improve. Of these hospitals, 82% are considered highly essential to their communities,” according to an annual Guidehouse analysis.

Many hospitals within close proximity to large U.S. cities are facing a serious financial challenge: patients who outmigrate to urban hospitals. This can happen due to patient preference or a physician referral, but it’s leading to lost revenue either way. 

It’s important to note though, this is not solely a rural hospital concern. A strong physician relations strategy is needed in many large urban areas to ensure you don’t lose patients to the large competitor right down the street.

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Tags: physician referral, physician strategy, outmigration, physician referral leakage

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