Doctor Referral Network

[This study will be presented at Sunbelt 2014 Conference on February 2014]

Examining the referral network characteristics of the doctors and specialties may help us understand the workflows in the healthcare system better. In this study we reveal the patterns as well as anomalies in a complex network. We call it complex because we are dealing with many networks at different scale. Referral network in a zip code area emerges with others to form a city or county network, and county networks together form a state network. Besides, network of physicians is very different from that of specialties where doctors grouped by the same specialty forms a single vertex.

In the first phase of this project, weighted directed graphs of specialties are generated. The graph below is generated from National Claims History (NCH) records using Gephi with Force Atlas 2 layout.

Curved edges in clock-wise shows the direction, size of the nodes indicates number of distinct specialties they refer to, widths of the edges are the patient traffic load, colors of the nodes denote the total patients they are referred to:

Specialty Referral Network of a County
Specialty Referral Network of a County