Written by: John Wolf on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 Posted in:

First Step to Cut Patient No-Shows:

Focus on the Reward

One of the biggest drains on your practice revenue is the patient no-show. Fortunately, this problem has many potential solutions.

Before you can effectively invest time and money into a patient compliance program that reduces no-shows, you need to know what that program is worth to you. Only when you grasp the potential return on investment will you be able to commit to the costs in technology, organizational change and oversight.

PRACTICE TIP: Ensure every patient sees an appointment reminder

Contact your patients by text, phone and/or email with automated systems that scan your upcoming schedule and contact your patients at the appropriate time. You never have to lift a finger!

Many practices lose 10-15% of all their scheduled appointments due to no-shows and cancellations. Assuming you dedicate just $100 in payroll, equipment, rent and utilities for each scheduled patient, one no-show a day costs you up to $25,000 a year in idle resources! And it gets worse…

When a patient referred to you never makes it to the first appointment, you lose all the appointments and potential billing associated with that case. If a typical case is billed at $1500, and you lose one such patient a week, that’s $75,000 in revenue down the drain!

You may have your own methods of calculating the cost of no-shows. No matter how you run the numbers, when you add up the extra money you could make by cutting your no-show rate by a half or two-thirds, you will find it’s worth it to do something.

Keep in mind that you won’t likely cut your no-shows without some investment in

  • Automated text, phone and/or email reminder systems
  • An advanced scheduling system that tracks no-shows and powers your reminder modules
  • New policies for clerical staff and providers regarding patient communication
  • Regular meetings to review best practices and results

None of the items above come cheap. But once you calculate the potential gains, the cost of reducing no-shows will seem like a bargain!