What is a Referable Moment?

What is a Referable Moment?

Have you ever had one of those days where everything just seems to come together? When the universe seems to be sending you good vibes, the world aligns in your favor and you feel like you can do anything?

That “ready to seize the day” feeling is happening for people all over the world. And when it’s your turn, you know how to build on your momentum to keep the positivity going.

That’s what it’s like to find and leverage a referable momentSM.

A referable moment is the point in time when a person is ready to take action to improve their health. It’s the point in time when a patient is leaning into their care, and all the elements are there to get them to move onto and show up for the next step in their healthcare journey.

Referable moments exist all over the healthcare ecosystem. No one organization can claim to have invented them, but the smart ones are leveraging them.

What is an example of a referable moment?

Referable moments happen all the time. The problem is our healthcare delivery system is missing them or doesn’t have the tools to make the most of them, or both. Here are some examples:

Example #1: A primary care physician (PCP) notices, during an annual visit, that the 38-year-old patient has a family history of breast cancer and recommends starting mammograms early.

Right then, the patient is leaning in and ready to take action. The PCP can, with the right tools, leverage that moment to schedule a mammogram at the patient’s Imaging Center of choice—one that is conveniently located, takes her insurance, even has specific imaging technology such as 3D mammograms, if needed.

Booking the mammogram while the patient is in the PCP’s office is leveraging a referable moment.

Example #2: A care navigator on behalf of a Medicare Advantage plan calls a beneficiary who has no PCP of record and has missed his last two annual wellness visits.

While on the phone, the patient is ready, willing and able to commit to a visit. With the right tools, the care navigator can find a participating PCP who is accepting new patients, has open appointments next week and also speaks the patient’s primary language.

Scheduling an annual wellness visit when the member answers the care navigator’s call is leveraging a referable moment.

In both of those moments, when the health care professional is in a trusted advisor mode, telling the patient what to do next, that’s when the patient is ready to move forward and most likely to comply. This is the moment where the exact conditions exist to help the patient take the next step.

Why do referable moments matter?

Data shows that in the referable moment, patients act. They schedule appointments about seven times as often and show up for their care two or three times as often. By contrast, when they’re left with the task of scheduling the visit themselves, it's common that patients don't follow up. That’s because the referable moment is when patients are leaning into their care and get the right support—both technological and service-oriented—to make it happen. And while referable moments are everywhere, they last for very short and precise periods of time, so health plans and health care providers must know when and how to leverage them to overcome challenges in healthcare delivery.

For example, in one population of 15,000 Medicare Advantage members with open care gaps, a health plan engaged care navigators to leverage the referable moment when they had the member on the phone. They called members to educate them and then offered to schedule appointments for their care gaps. Care navigators closed care gaps for 36% of the members they reached and those members who scheduled care generated a whopping 81% show rate at their appointments.

Maximizing referable moments allows healthcare organizations to deliver care not only when they’re ready to share it, but also at exactly that moment when the patient is ready to receive it.

Written by Chad Baugh

Chad brings 20+ years of experience to ReferWell, coming from an extensive and successful background in healthcare and revenue management. He has worked at the leading edge of what's happening in healthcare including Health Information Exchange, Population Health, Value Based Care, Risk Contracting and Virtual Care. Chad oversees all revenue-generating activities such as sales, marketing, pricing and overall customer partnerships. As an innovative and progressive leader, Chad drives the success of ReferWell and it's overall business results.

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