The health and profitability of your therapy practice is dependent on a steady stream of clients seeking treatment. New referrals are your business’s life blood. In order to keep new patients coming into your practice you can’t just rely on the good grace of physicians, hospitalists, and primary care providers. That’s why successful referral management plays such a key role in building and sustaining your business.
Building physician relationships
Your therapy practice’s referrals can come from a number of different sources. Thanks to direct access laws active in all 50 states, patients needing therapy can seek out the practice of their choosing without a doctor’s referral. This provides therapists with a greatly-expanded pool of potential clients. However, this method of gaining business depends entirely upon your individual marketing efforts rather than an established process.
Regardless of direct access, physicians still remain your primary source of new patients. In order to properly develop and build upon these potential client streams, it is necessary to establish a good, reliable working relationship with the providers in your area. To do this it is necessary to:
- Attract the doctor’s attention with data and metrics rather than lunches and gimmicks
- Gain their trust through consistent patient care tied to quality outcomes
- Maintain an ongoing relationship with the provider
You know your practice already delivers excellent care, and your record speaks for itself. You demonstrate that excellence through a consistent level of high-quality healthcare outcomes. The true challenge is maintaining the relationships you’ve built over the long run. That is where an EMR software with referral management functions comes in to play.
Referral reporting versus referral management
If you’ve optimized your therapy practice for peak efficiency by implementing therapy-specific EMR software, or an electronic medical record, you’re aware of all the useful functions that an EMR software is capable of. These functions go beyond the rudimentary applications such as patient charting and appointment scheduling. One of those additional functions is referral reporting.
Referral reporting is a fairly standard EMR feature that shows where your referrals are coming from along with basic information like how many referrals are produced from that source and how often. However, this is the extent of referral reporting. It gives your practice a neat summation of your client sources, but it does very little to assist you in increasing the volume of your referrals and correctly capitalizing on your business relationships.
True referral management, on the other hand, lets you dive deeper into referral information. The right referral management software turns that data into actionable tasks. With referral management solutions, your sales reps can see the practices and referral sources that need their attention the most. At the click of a button, your reps can access color-coded maps that highlight doctors and practices, displaying the level of service and relationship management that they need at a glance.
Referral management as a marketing tool
Referral management takes the foundation of referral reporting and builds upon it. Referral management software is similar to customer relationship management software (CRM) that you might find in a retail setting. It is a suite of tools that helps you not only understand where your past referrals come from, but it also helps you with referral management conversion. Referral management conversion means converting the referrals that you get from doctors, hospitals, and other providers into actual patients, capturing reimbursement for the services that you provide to them. Practice Pro’s referral management EMR software, Cobility, gives you the toolset that you need to dive deep into the episode of care and begin forming a meaningful relationship with both providers and clients long before the referral takes place.
Having the right EMR software allows you to identify which referrals are delivering the best results and pinpoint the referrals that need extra relationship management. Being able to filter referrals by practice, physician, or assigned field rep helps you narrow down and analyze referral data to make better decisions regarding the health of your therapy practice.
An embedded referral management software can accomplish that goal by:
- Tracking complex information about each referring practice
- Helping your sales reps or relationship manager track and group providers across specific geographic areas
- Providing physicians with data about your practice’s value-based outcomes
- Measuring your conversion rate
When used in conjunction, these metrics can help you and your reps to target high-value referral sources and give existing partners the appropriate attention to maintain your professional relationship.
Improve your conversion rate with the right referral management software
Your therapy practice may be leaving thousands of dollars of revenue on the table. Each referral that you fail to convert equals hundreds of dollars lost with each therapy session. Once you account for multiple sessions and multiple patients, that money adds up quickly. Practice Pro’s Cobility referral management software can help you dig deep into your provider relationships and improve your conversion rate with a robust suite of features that goes beyond simple referral reporting. Contact us today to set up a free live demo.