The model for global healthcare referrals has changed. In the old model, patients went to their doctor who referred them to another doctor or surgeon for care. These days, patients find their own surgeon and request a “reverse referral” asking the consultant to get the necessary information from a primary care doctor at home to assure continuity of care. Using transfer of electronic medical records, health information exchanges and telemedicine, patients now drive the process with increasing disintermediation of healthcare professionals.
BOTTOM LINE: The globalized, interconnected healthcare infrastructure is putting more power in the hands of patients to make choices about the value of care they receive.