ANN ARBOR — Ann Arbor-based Truven Health Analytics, formerly the health care business of Thomson Reuters, Monday announced the launch of its Physician Referral Management system, designed to help hospital executives maximize resource utilization and reduce the number of referrals that send patients outside of their health networks.

Truven Health has partnered with Enclarity, based in Minneapolis and Aliso Viejo, Calif.  for the data that powers the system.

Using a nationwide database of more than 6 million healthcare provider profiles, the Physician Referral Management solution tracks referral trends across 75 percent of all physicians operating in 48 states. The solution gives hospital executives the analytic insights they need to understand primary care referral patterns across inpatient and outpatient services, identify high-volume referral and utilization by specialty and key service area, and spotlight areas where they are losing patients to out-of-network referrals.

Said Warren Gouk, CFO and business development manager at Enclarity: “By combining the analytics expertise of Truven Health with the deep data assets of Enclarity, we can help hospital executives understand the physician activity in their market as never before.”

Slightly more than 9 percent of physician visits result in a referral, according to a June 2012 study published in the journal Archives, in which researchers analyzed nearly 850,000 patient visits in a nationally representative data set. This is nearly double the referral rate of 10 years ago. The trend toward increased referrals, combined with the more prominent role hospitals and health systems are playing in primary care, has driven the need for a solution to accurately measure referral traffic.

“In today’s fee-for-service environment and as payment reform accelerates, it is critical for hospitals and health networks to understand referral patterns so they can identify revenue opportunities and stem potential losses,” said C. Douglas Shaw, senior vice president for Truven Health Analytics hospital business. “As the rate of physician referrals nationwide continues to rise, it will become increasingly crucial for hospital executives to manage that process throughout their networks. We are offering a superior solution that leverages comprehensive data sets, management expertise and qualitative information to help hospital administrators answer questions about referrals in their market that have previously gone unanswered.”

In addition to tracking referral activity within their own networks, the Truven Health Physician Referral Management solution enables competitive intelligence on referral patterns among health systems in a particular market. Delivered by an expert team of Truven Health consultants with deep experience in healthcare analytics and hospital and physician management, the Physician Referral Management solution also helps hospital executives identify specific service-line growth opportunities and target potential partners and acquisition targets.

Truven Health Analytics, formerly the Healthcare business of Thomson Reuters, delivers unbiased information, analytic tools, benchmarks, and services to the healthcare industry. With more than 2,000 employees globally, Truven has major offices in Ann Arbor, Chicago and Denver.

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