Changing Referral Patterns to Urogynecology

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Abstract

Objective

The study aims to identify sources of and changes in referral patterns for pelvic floor disorders.

Methods

All new patient visits to urogynecology at our institution between January 2010 and December 2015 were identified. Patient demographics, referral source, insurance type, and visit diagnoses using ICD-9 codes were abstracted. ICD-9 codes were grouped into 18 urogynecologic diagnoses. Data were analyzed using SPSS (Version 20; Chicago, IL).

Results

Five thousand seven hundred ninety-nine new patient visits were included in the analysis. The mean age was 54 ± 17 years and 59% were Caucasian. Forty-four percent were referred by obstetrician/gynecologists (OB/GYNs), 32% by primary care providers (PCPs), 14% by self-referral, and 9% by other specialties. New patient visits increased overall by 280% over 6 years; self- and PCP referrals increased by 480% and 320%, respectively. In comparison, OB/GYN referrals increased by only 229%. Patients diagnosed with prolapse and stress incontinence were more likely to be referred by an OB/GYN (P < 0.001), whereas PCPs were more likely to refer for urinary tract infections (P < 0.005) and urgency urinary incontinence (P < 0.001) than OB/GYNs.

Conclusions

Demand for pelvic floor specialists is growing quickly, with PCP and self-referrals outpacing referrals from obstetrician-gynecologists to tertiary care urogynecology practices.

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