ST. PAUL, Minn., Oct. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly all (96%) of healthcare executives say patient leakage is a priority this year, but only 31% of leaders who have a plan to keep patients within their health system networks believe they have the right tools to accomplish their goals, according to survey results released today from Central Logic, the industry innovator in enterprise visibility and tools to accelerate access to care.
Central Logic commissioned an independent market research firm to conduct a survey about patient leakage and care access, with respondents consisting of a random sample of 138 double-verified senior health system and hospital executives responsible for patient care, hospital administration, finance or operations. The challenge of patient leakage—in which patients seek care beyond their network—has taken on greater importance during COVID-19, as hospitals' and health systems' operating margins have dropped precipitously. While CARES Act funding has offered some financial relief, these organizations are expected to lose more than $323 billion in 2020 due in large part to restrictions on elective procedures and patients canceling or deferring care.
"The Patient Keepage & Leakage Report, based on the results of our survey, highlights a crisis of confidence among healthcare executives that started even before COVID-19," said Angie Franks, CEO of Central Logic. "The pandemic has exacerbated this crisis, but attracting, retaining and repatriating patients back into health system networks is now an incredibly important financial priority for health system leaders, given the massive financial losses they have suffered."
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Of particular importance is attracting patients to health systems' Centers of Excellence for acute conditions such as strokes or heart attacks, and for routine specialty care such as orthopedics. Health systems make significant investments in these specialty centers to ensure the highest quality care. Rebuilding and even growing patient volume within Centers of Excellence needs to be a top priority, given the impact the pandemic has had on utilization. For example, during the peak of the pandemic, utilization of cardiology services dropped by 71% while revenue decreased 73%. For orthopedics, utilization dropped by 65% while revenue dropped by 59%.
"We commissioned this survey to highlight the critical issue of patient leakage facing health systems," Franks said. "These results also reinforce the fact that efficiently orchestrating, navigating and elevating the flow of patients through the entire care continuum is becoming even more critical in order to prevent patient leakage, and repatriating patients back into the health system network is more important than ever if they do seek outside care."