When a patient misses their scheduled medical appointment, it affects more than just their health – it affects a physician’s bottom line.
The risk of medical complications from patient no-shows is very real, but it can be expected; what may be more shocking is the surprising cost it has for a physician’s practice.
No Show, No Dough
Some estimates have missed appointments costing a single physician as much as $150,000 in lost revenue and additional labor costs. That’s huge amount of money that physicians are missing out on.
For a multi-physician office, those numbers become even more staggering. One clinic had 14,000 no-shows in a single year that resulted in an estimated loss of over one million dollars.
Whether a practice is big or small, a significant portion of its profits – not to mention time – can be lost due to patients missing appointments. Reminding and rescheduling appointments can monopolize staff time unless an efficient system is installed.
One of the most common reasons patients cite for missing appointments is forgetfulness. Several studies have shown the benefits of phone and postcard reminders, but these measures can be expensive and resource intensive.
A new trend in patient reminders is through email and text notifications. A study by the Internet Journal of Healthcare Administration found that email reminders provided an immediate and dramatic improvement in patient no-shows:
“Overall nonattendance rates decreased by 36% with this low cost and non-labor intense intervention.”
Implementing a practice management system with automated appointment reminders can quickly pay for itself with lower no-show rates and less labor requirements.
If you’re a single physician practice, imagine cutting down on staff requirements and earning an extra $50,000 or more while improving the care you provide for your patients. For practices with multiple doctors, the upside is even larger.
Use technology to improve your practice’s profits, enhance patient care and simplify your office’s workflow. Less “phone tag,” filling out postcards and unruly schedules can be achieved with the right system.
Has your practice implemented an automated appointment reminder system? What were the results?
Staffing in the New Economy