Interprofessional Referral Patterns in an Integrated Medical System

Published in: Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, v. 28, no. 3, Mar./Apr. 2005, p. 170-174

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2005

by Ian D. Coulter, Betsy B. Singh, David Riley, Claudia Der-Martirosian

Read More

Access further information on this document at www.sciencedirect.com

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the interreferral patterns among physicians and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) providers in an independent practice association integrated medical system. METHOD: Data from a 1-year period were collected on referral patterns, diagnosis, number of visits, cost, and qualitative aspects of patient care. The independent practice association provided care for approximately 12000 patients. RESULTS: In the selected integrative network, there are those primary care physicians (PCPs) who refer and those who do not. Among those PCPs that refer to CAM, a preference is shown for a limited number of providers to whom they refer. Although doctors of chiropractic get more referrals, they are also more concentrated among selected providers than are doctors of oriental medicine. CONCLUSION: This study shows the interreferral patterns among the PCP and CAM providers working within an integrated medical system. One effect of being in the network for doctors of chiropractic and doctors of oriental medicine might be the possible interreferrals between each other.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.