5 benefits for IPAs when connected by a digital network

Posted by Brad Veach Thursday, August 3, 2017

IPAs function better when connected with a digital network

Independent physician associations have popped up all over and with good reason. They help doctors retain independence while collaborating with other practices and using their combined voice to achieve better leverage in the marketplace. Together they can work to negotiate contracts, reduce overhead and pursue business alliances.

Although strategic affiliation helps IPAs pursue business opportunities, how can they overcome the disparate nature of their alliance and meet the needs of their contractors and patients?

Ensuring patients stay within their IPA network and following-up to know they receive the care they need is a big part of the puzzle. Yet without full visibility across the care continuum and an open channel of collaboration and communication between doctors, this isn’t possible. This is the unfortunate reality for many doctors who are joined under an IPA umbrella network but still operating under completely different systems. 

A digital care coordination platform that features a robust suite of online scheduling and referral coordination capabilities has the ability to change this. Doctors across an IPA can be connected via a common digital network that enables real-time scheduling of appointments from any access point. Here are 5 potential benefits:

  • Better Communication. When physicians across IPAs can communicate better, they can cooperate and collaborate better. This means knowing if patients complete referral visits, sharing the right information in advance and facilitating two-way dialogue in real time. Better communication leaves physicians better informed and equipped to manage a patient’s health needs.
  • Successful Referrals. Online booking and optimized scheduling translates to a decrease in referral lead times (by 50% for one customer) while boosting completion rates (by 19 percent).
  • Minimal Patient Leakage. On the spot booking to a specialist reduces patient leakages while ensuring patients get the care they need. With a digital care coordination platform, physicians in an IPA can directly schedule a patient’s referral visit with the best-fit, in-network specialist. All of this is done before the patient walks out the door from their first appointment.
  • Increased Patient Engagement. Creating a positive patient experience from the moment that care is scheduled and throughout follow-up referral visits, has become increasingly important to the success of physician groups. Engaged patients are happier patients that drive better quality scores, higher completion rates and stronger retention rates.
  • Better Care. In the end, the goal is always to provide the best care possible for patients. The cumulative result of improving communication, referrals, patient leakage and patient engagement, is better health outcomes.

To learn more about how MyHealthDirect’s referral coordination and online scheduling solutions can read our fee guide, Redefining Patient Access.

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Topics: Patient Engagement, Patient Leakage, Referral Coordination, Digital Care Coordination, Digital Network