With this capability, users can segment the data by market, patient volumes, admission rates, and even diagnosis-related group (DRG). Users can also target specific facilities to understand where they refer patients and from whom they receive patients.
In this blog, we use the referral analytics tool to highlight key trends in physician referral patterns between hospitals and long-term care facilities. Through this, we hope to demonstrate how you can use this data to understand long-term care referral patterns and identify high-volume providers.
Which states have the most referrals from hospitals?
California, Texas, Florida, and New York had the highest patient referral volumes from hospitals in 2017. These are four of the top five most populous states, so it’s unsurprising that they would report high numbers of patient referrals.
By tracing regions with high referral volumes, users can see areas of growth within the long-term care market. They can also use this information to target high-volume long-term care providers in those areas.
Long-term care referral volumes by state
Fig. 1 Screenshot from the Long-Term Care Referral Analytics dashboard on DHC Visuals. This map represents the state-by-state volume of long-term care referrals for the 2017 claim year. Referral pattern analytics are sourced from Definitive Healthcare’s medical claims database and the 2017 Medicare Standard Analytics File (SAF), the most recent data available. Accessed September 2020.
The table below also shows a correlation between population density and referral volume. All ten of the top hospitals are in or near a large metropolitan area with high patient concentrations. With larger patient populations to care for, these hospitals are referring more patients to long-term care facilities or other specialist provider types.
Top 10 hospitals by long-term care center referrals
Referrals to Long-Term Care Centers
NY Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center
Yale New Haven Hospital
Massachusetts General Hospital
Beaumont Hospital - Royal Oak
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
NYU Langone Tisch Hospital
Fig. 2 Information about the hospital referrals market is from the long-term care referral analytics dashboard on DHC Visuals. Referral pattern analytics are sourced from Definitive Healthcare’s medical claims database and the 2017 Medicare Standard Analytics File (SAF), the most recent data available. Accessed September 2020.
We might expect hospitals in the southeast to report the most long-term care patient referrals. Florida and other southeastern states have a large percentage of elderly residents. However, many northeastern hospitals report high volumes of long-term care referrals.
Five of the top ten high-referral hospitals are in northeastern states like:
Small northeastern states like Delaware and Connecticut have a higher percentage of elderly residents relative to their population size. Because of this, northeastern hospitals report more long-term care patient referrals than larger states like California, Texas, or Florida.
Which long-term care facilities have the most referrals?
In 2017, skilled nursing facilities and home health agencies had the most referrals from hospitals. It’s worth noting here that DHC Visuals does not include referral pattern analytics for assisted living facilities (ALFs). This is because admittance to assisted living facilities is voluntary and does not need a physician’s referral. While DHC Visuals does not include analytics for assisted living facilities, Definitive Healthcare users can access other data about ALFs on our long-term care database.
The DHC Visuals dashboard allows users to analyze specific hospitals or long-term care facilities for a more in-depth understanding of their referral patterns. The chart below shows the top ten long-term care centers by referrals from hospitals.
Top 10 long-term care facilities by total referrals
Long-Term Care Facility Name
Referrals from Hospitals
Visiting Nurse Service of NY Home Care
Partners Healthcare at Home - Waltham
Catholic Health Home Care
Northwell Health at Home
VNA of Central Jersey Home Care
VITAS Hospice Office - Brevard
Advocate Home Health Care Services
Beaumont Home Health Services
Atlantic Home Care
Metropolitan Jewish Health System Home Care - NY
Fig. 3 Information about the long-term care referrals market is from the long-term care referral analytics dashboard on DHC Visuals. Referral pattern analytics are sourced from Definitive Healthcare’s medical claims database and the 2017 Medicare Standard Analytics File (SAF), the most recent data available. Accessed September 2020.
Seven of the top ten long-term care facilities by hospital referrals are in the northeastern United States. This trend is unsurprising, especially given that hospitals with the most long-term care center referrals were also located in this region.
Which diagnoses are most common among long-term care referrals?
In 2017, major joint replacement or reattachment of the lower extremity (DRG 470) was the most common diagnosis among patients referred to long-term care facilities. This code refers to patients who have undergone either a hip or knee replacement. Both are widespread procedures among the elderly patient population.
Top 25 most common diagnoses referred to long-term care centers
Fig. 4 Visual representation of the long-term care referral analytics dashboard on DHC Visuals. This box chart represents the top 25 diagnosis-related groups (DRGs) referred to long-term care facilities in 2017 by patient count. Diagnosis data and referral pattern analytics are sourced from Definitive Healthcare’s medical claims database and the 2017 Medicare Standard Analytics File (SAF), the most recent data available. Accessed September 2020.
Septicemia or severe sepsis (DRG 871) was the second most common diagnosis referred to long-term care facilities in 2017. Sepsis is a blood infection most often caused by pneumonia, urinary tract infections, or other infections. Elderly patients are more at risk for developing sepsis. This risk is due to their weakened immune systems and a higher likelihood of living with chronic medical conditions.
Some of the other most common diagnoses among long-term care referrals include:
This blog discusses some of the ways that your organization can use data visualization tools like DHC Visuals to:
Build a territory plan
Trace referral patterns
Identify network leakage, and
Discover new provider insights
*Originally published October 30, 2019
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rachel Grande is a communications professional and published author. She holds a master’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow, and brings nearly two years of prior experience as ...