There is a big problem with referrals in US healthcare. Here are some examples.
First, according to an article in Becker’s Hospital Review about 20 million patent referrals are misdirected. This means about 20 million patients a year are referred to the wrong specialist. This results in expensive re-referrals or, worse, mismanagement of patients care.
Second, as readers of Cracking Health Costs know, huge differences exist in specialists’ ability to get complex diagnoses right and prescribe the best treatment plan. Primary care doctors often just don’t have enough referral cases in any given specialty to see the differences. A referral to a specialist who over-treats and over-tests can cost tens of thousand of dollars.
It’s all about referrals.
Cracking Health Costs, the book, an Amazon best seller, is available on Amazon at a deeply discounted price. Click here: Cracking Health Costs: How to Cut Your Company’s Health Costs and Provide Employees Better Care by Tom Emerick and Al Lewis.
Tom Emerick is the President of Emerick Consulting and co-founder of EdisonHealth. In December 2012, Tom was listed in Forbes.com as one of 13 unsung heroes changing healthcare forever. In 2009, Tom was named by Healthspottr as one of the top 100 innovators in healthcare in the US for his work on medical ethics. Prior to consulting, Tom spent a number of years working for large corporations: Walmart Stores, Burger King, and British Petroleum.