- 19.7 million patients annually are referred to a specialist that is inappropriate for his or her condition, according to the 2014 Kyruus Physician Referral Survey. 100 specialists across 11 specialties were surveyed.
- 75% of specialists have received at least one "clinically inappropriate" referral in the last year. Around 8% of all referrals are "clinically inappropriate," adding up to an average of 42 wrongly-matched patients per specialist per year for a total of 19.7 million in the US at large.
- The vast majority of physicians—87%—believe that the inappropriate referrals are a direct result of the dearth of reliable information about other specialists. 15% believe that they are the result of a system that relies too heavily on the personal relationships between physicians rather than objective clinical assessments.
What is the cost of all these misdirected referrals? In dollars and cents, the 63% of patients who are re-referred to the correct physician incur almost $2 billion in costs as a result of lost wages and unnecessary co-pays. The remaining 37% are treated by the wrong physician, which has the potential to put the patient at risk of receiving lower-quality care.