By Robin Stawasz
The time for technology as being a “nice to have” is over. True interoperability has become a “must have.” In the latest Interoperability and Engagement Research Report, over 130 hospitals and physicians were surveyed, as well as over 300 post-acute care providers. The findings were definitive. 99% of hospitals and physicians said that they were more likely to send referrals to providers who can support interoperability, including the ability to accept electronic referrals. This is up from 74% in 2021. Also, 96% of referrers said they were more likely to refer to providers with advanced patient engagement capabilities, including real-time data exchange. As markets get more competitive, such capabilities can be the differentiator for who is considered for a referral.
Hospices and home health providers are increasingly recognizing this dynamic. 97% said it is important to be able to exchange data electronically with referral sources. However, only 39% have improved their interoperability capabilities over the past 12 months, citing lack of knowledge, cost, and time as the reason for delaying. With the rising demand by referral sources for this capability, and with the lack of uptake on the part of many providers, an opportunity is created for those who do make interoperability a priority for their organization to differentiate themselves to referrers in their market.
The need for data exchange is only growing with the increase of value-based care. 65% of hospitals and physicians reported that more than 25% of their revenue is now tied to a value-based care arrangement, and 51% expected that percentage to grow over the next 12 to 18 months. If post-acute care providers do not meet the need of referral sources and show themselves as able to participate on this level, they may get left behind.
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Source Material: “99 Percent of Physicians and Hospitals won’t Give Post-Acute Referrals Unless Providers Support Interoperability: New Study” posted by McKnights Senior Living on April 26, 2023 and available at https://www.mcknightsseniorliving.com/home/news/tech-daily-news/99-percent-of-physicians-and-hospitals-wont-give-post-acute-referrals-unless-providers-support-interoperability-new-study