The Baptist Medical Group (BMG) Referral Center recently processed its 500,000th referral. The center reached this milestone only two years after getting its 250,000th referral and only five years after its opening.
When the center first started, only two employees processed referrals. Today the referral center consists of 37 representatives, two supervisors, seven diabetes care coordinators, three central schedulers, and an operations manager, Sara Roberts.
When asked to describe the benefit of a centralized referral center, Sara stated “Our team eliminates the need for our clinic staff and patients to spend hours on the phone with their insurance companies. Our responsibility is obtaining the referrals and authorizations, knowing what clinics accept certain insurances, and calling different clinics to set up these appointments. We provide a concierge service to them.
“Patients can often get frustrated or lost in the insurance process once a primary care provider refers them to a specialist for additional testing and care. Our team makes sure that isn’t the case. For the patients, the process is as simple as showing up for their appointments,” explained Sara.
The referral center also has a team dedicated to finding patients a primary care provider.
“Our goal as a department is to process 10,000 referrals monthly. On average, we’re processing close to 11,000, and we are continuing to grow,” says Sara. Referral center representatives regularly receive great feedback from patients who are grateful to have someone walk them through the referral and insurance process.
Even leaders from Crimson Medical Referrals, the e-platform for collecting this quality data, are impressed with the referral center’s success and want it to serve as a model for other health systems.
“We want to take care of our patients and put them first,” said Sara. “Our goal is to make it as easy as we can for our patients and to ensure they receive the best care possible.”