The Hidden Problem Costing Health Systems Millions: Rehab Referral Leakage

In an effort to ensure high-quality care during recovery, health systems operate physical therapy clinics and refer patients to them after surgeries or other major medical events. This allows the team that performed the original surgery to know their patients are getting the right care and track a patient’s recovery progress. The problem is that 60+ percent of patients referred to health system physical therapy clinics end up seeking care elsewhere.


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Referral leakage is a $3.1+ billion problem for Health Systems

Luna analyzed commercial claims data from 3.9 million patients to understand why health systems are often unable to retain physical therapy referrals and illustrate the problem via specific examples, as well as offer potential solutions.

Even the health systems most successful at patient retention are losing substantial amounts of patients and revenue, with the majority having leakage rates well above 50 percent.


Patients are unwilling to travel more than a few miles for care, meaning health systems either need to build enough clinics to service a broad enough geography or find a way to deliver care to patients' homes.


The scale of leakage uncovered in this analysis suggests that rehab leakage is the number one driver of leakage in health systems.