Gain control of no-shows and protect your bottom line
Patient no-shows are one of the most vexing issues in managing a medical practice. When a patient doesn’t cancel in advance with adequate notice or simply doesn’t show up for their appointment, the practice loses a block of billable time they could have used to see other patients.
THE TRUE COST OF NO-SHOWS
According to the Medical Group Management Association, no-shows range from 5% to 7% in the typical practice. In order to determine the financial impact on your practice, multiply the amount of revenue your practice makes for the average appointment, by the number of patient appointments per week, by 6% (the average of 5 – 7%). For example, if the average revenue per appointment is $150, and the practice sees 100 patients a week, the weekly revenue would be $15000. With a no show rate of 6% (the practice has approximately 6 no-shows per week), the resulting potential impact would be $900 per week. Over the course of a year that would climb to be a substantial $46,800 of lost revenue per year. Using those numbers, each 1% of no-show is equal to $7,800. Reducing the percentage of no-shows to 5% would reduce the lost revenue to $39,000 and yield $7,800 of additional revenue per year. If the practice were really successful in reducing no-show and could get the percentage to 4%, it could increase revenue by $15,600.
By taking steps to reduce no-shows, you can increase revenue, reduce wasted staff time and improve patient wait times.
OUTBOUND APPOINTMENT REMINDER TECHNIQUES
Here are some tools you can use to reduce your no-show percentage and regain lost revenue.
- Call the patient a few days in advance. According to the American Medical Association, no-show rates are lowest when a live person does the calling, but having an employee may not be cost-effective for every practice. Automated systems are less effective at reducing no-shows, but still better than nothing.
- Send reminders by mail. Sending a mailer or postcard is more expensive than electronic notifications, but may be the only way to reach older patients who do not have cell phones and do not check email frequently.
- Reach out to patients electronically with text messages. Many patients carry cell phones, and almost all phones have the option of receiving text messages. In 2010, Kaiser Permanente implemented one-month pilot program using a text messaging reminder system that reduced no-shows by .73%. The program had a 95.65% success rate, with only 1.8% of recipients opting out of further messages.
- Use email reminders. Many patients can receive emails on their smartphone, so don’t be afraid to send multiple email reminders, including right up to the day of the appointment. Your practice management program or EHR should be able to schedule and send an email confirmation automatically.
- Find out how the patient travels to your office. If they are using public transportation, consider including a link to the local transit authority’s web site so they can check the transportation schedule.
- Follow up after the appointment with one or more of the above techniques. If the patient showed up on time, send them a thank you message. If the patient was a no-show, send them a “We’re sorry we missed you” message and a reminder to reschedule. The longer you wait to reschedule the appointment, the less likely it will happen.
While some no-shows are inevitable, practice managers can do a lot more than just sit back and hope patients show up for their appointments. Outbound appointment reminders can reduce no-shows and protect the practices’ bottom line.
- Integrated Care EHR and the Need for Offline ModeApr 26 , 2019
- G-Code Breakers for FQHCs: Does your EHR qualify?Apr 24 , 2019
- 3 Major Issues with Immunization Records Management (and How an EHR Can Help)Nov 13 , 2017
- The messaging feature: an ode to cognitive design in EHROct 20 , 2017
- Cloud Based EHR Software: the Key to Shielding Hospitals from Natural DisastersSep 13 , 2017
- MACRA & EHR: Seamless Integration Improves Care QualitySep 08 , 2017
- EHR Workflow: 4 Qualities You Need to SucceedAug 25 , 2017
- Cloud Based EHR Without Internet: the Offline Capabilities RevolutionAug 23 , 2017
- How long can you wait for your EMR to be Back On-Line?Aug 14 , 2017
- What’s the deal with MIPS?Aug 04 , 2017
- Decoding Meaningful Use For Your EHR SystemFeb 24 , 2017
- Web Based Electronic Health Records SoftwareFeb 21 , 2017
- What is the Difference Between an EHR and EMR?Feb 16 , 2017
- What is Certified EHR, and Why is it Important?Jan 13 , 2017
- How Can EHR Improve Patient Care?Oct 21 , 2016
- Critical Roles for EMR Training SuccessSep 20 , 2016
- How to Know if Your EMR Training Was a SuccessSep 15 , 2016
- How to Estimate EMR Training CostsSep 08 , 2016
- Why EHR Training is Crucial for SuccessSep 05 , 2016
- Best Practices in EMR TrainingAug 31 , 2016
- Why Does an EHR System Cost So Much?Aug 29 , 2016
- Trends Impacting EHR CostsAug 23 , 2016
- Understanding the High Cost of EHRJul 11 , 2016
- Understanding the High Cost of EHRJul 11 , 2016
- Understanding EHR Pricing ModelsJul 07 , 2016
- EHR Optimization Benchmarks Your Practice Should Be UsingJul 01 , 2016
- The Positive Impact of Customizing Your EHRJun 20 , 2016
- The Pros and Cons of Customizing Your EHRJun 16 , 2016
- Want EMR Success: Start with Your ProcessesJun 10 , 2016
- What does practice leadership have to do with your EHR?Jun 07 , 2016
- Why EHR Customization MattersJun 01 , 2016
- Your Data Has Value Outside of Your EHRMay 26 , 2016
- Who Owns the Data in Your EHR?May 21 , 2016
- Should You Test Your EHR Data Backup and Restore Process?May 16 , 2016
- Migrating Your EHR DataMay 10 , 2016
- Lessons to be Learned in EMR ImplementationMay 04 , 2016
- How to Avoid the EMR Patient Data Ownership Trap ?Apr 30 , 2016
- Keep Your Staff HIPAA Compliant with these 12 Best PracticesJan 30 , 2016
- A customized Health IT software for InternistsNov 03 , 2015
- Why physicians should implement electronic health records soonOct 20 , 2015
- Access to Medical RecordsOct 08 , 2015
- How to get ready for ICD-10?Sep 30 , 2015
- Save time & money by checking insurance eligibility of patientsAug 25 , 2015
- Gain control of no-shows and protect your bottom lineApr 22 , 2015
- One simple way to improve patient collections by 50%Mar 17 , 2015
- 3 Big HR Mistakes practices make when adopting an EMRJan 23 , 2015
- What is an Electronic Health Solution?Jan 19 , 2015
- What is EHR Interoperability? How Does it Benefit your Practice?Apr 22 , 2014
- How long can you wait for your EMR to be Back On-Line?Apr 22 , 2014
- The IT Benefits of Cloud Based EHRsApr 22 , 2014
- 5 Revenue cycle management Issues that could be Injuring your PracticeApr 22 , 2014
- TIPs for Choosing a Customizable EMR to fit your PracticeApr 22 , 2014
- 3 Common Mistakes That Can Scuttle Your EHR ImplementationApr 22 , 2014
- What’s the Difference between EMR and EHR?Apr 22 , 2014
- 3 Essential elements improve medical billing CollectionsApr 22 , 2014
- 32 Million Reasons you need an EMR Now!Apr 22 , 2014
- Vendor Selection is only the First Step of EMR Success!Apr 22 , 2014
- The 4 Big EHR Implementation Challenges Small Practices Face!Apr 22 , 2014
- 5 Signs that You need a New Billing Services Provider!Apr 22 , 2014
- Top 4 Reasons Small Medical Practices consider New EMR Solutions!Apr 22 , 2014
- Top 4 features Health Care Providers are looking for in their next EMRApr 22 , 2014
- 7 Things Providers Should Know and Do for Transitioning to ICD-10Apr 22 , 2014
- 3 Criteria for Selecting a Billing Services ProviderApr 22 , 2014
- The ZH Patient Portal gives Patients the Advantage!Apr 22 , 2014
- Why Your Practice Should be Using a Patient PortalApr 22 , 2014