In our last article we reviewed Market Data Deciles and Claim Counts, which provided an overview of our patient count feature. This “Next Step” article will help you grow your understanding of patient counts, and how these new fields provide further insight and visibility into your market.
Discharge Count – The number of patients discharged by the facility to that service
Patient Count – The number of unique patients admitted from a referral source. It is not claim or admission counts, however there is often a 1:1:1 relationship between them.
For example: John Doe is referred by Dr. Smith for Home Health. The patient’s admission spans 3 certification periods.
- Patient count = 1
- Admission count = 1
- Claim count = 3 (1 per certification period)
Patient Counts – are provided at the NATIONAL level
- Lowest value shown is “11” to maintain data anonymity
Deciles are provided at the COUNTY level
- Values range from 1 (low) to 10 (high)
- Values shown in many TargetWatch tables are for the county associated to the referrers billing address
- The Referral Source’s Rank Report will include counties and states where patients reside
Comparing Deciles & Counts
To effectively understand a target, one must utilize all its data elements! Count information can help find new/interesting targets that may have been overlooked by just using deciles.
Don’t compare rural Montana to downtown NYC - use the sub-reports to get more context on the physician's activity. View both counts and deciles relative to their own values via the following sub-reports:
- Decile & Count values
- State Decile-to-Count Conversion
- Referral Source Rank Report
The screenshots below illustrate how both national and county data is displayed across multiple tabs and sub-reports in TargetWatch.
Important Notes When Reviewing Counts vs. Deciles
- Referral sources that refer cross-county or state may show a mismatch between patient count and decile.
Dr. Ashraf is associated to Wake County by address. His Wake County HHA decile is a 2, though his All HHA Count is 99.
However, when we look at his Rank Report it shows he has a large volume of patients in other NC counties – Wilson, Johnston, etc.
- Referral sources that refer cross-state may show more patients than the max value for their state decile range.
Dr. Tripp is associated to Durham County by address. His Durham County HHA decile is a 3, though his All HHA Count is 566 – greater than the value range for that decile.
However, when we look at his Rank Report it shows he has a large volume of patients across NC and other states.
- Referral Sources in a Small Rural Counties
Sometimes, in small rural counties there so few patients that the doctors have very low STATE deciles, but within the county they are only compared to each other.
- Why am I seeing TOTAL patient counts HIGHER than the decile ranges?
- Decile range values provide the max to min patient counts for HHA, Hospice, Hospital Discharge, SNF Discharge values, not TOTAL
- Why am I seeing patient counts HIGHER/LOWER than the decile ranges?
- HIGHER – does the physician have patients out of state?
- LOWER – is the physician in a low volume county?
- Why do these count values not match counts I have from another source?
- Note that we are displaying PATIENT counts for Medicare claims for the 12 months of April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017.
- If the “other data” is a like comparison and still off by a significant amount, please contact your PlayMaker Client Success Manager.
Remember: Don't just use TargetWatch to prospect – use it to grow your market share for existing contacts/accounts as well!
- Use sub-reports like “HHA Discharges" to compare a targeted facility’s discharge rate to that of the national average.
- Use count and decile rankings to gain visibility into your market, and where your referrals sources stand within it.