There are many reasons why patients do not show up for appointments. Regardless of the reasons, a no-show means an opening in your schedule and lost revenue to your practice. While a small number of no-shows are expected in even the most efficient practices, working to reduce that number is paramount in order for you to stay in business. Otherwise, Centricity and EPIC Billing companies have less to work with and your overall revenue drops considerably.
Many physicians try to address no-show issues by overbooking appointments or treating alternative patients or even trying to contact the patient quickly to see why they didn’t arrive. However, to properly address this issue so that your practice billing stays efficient, it is important to understand why they do not arrive.
How to Address No-Shows
The first step is to understand how many are not showing up over a set period of time. This will mean running reports and to determine which patients did not show up and when. You may find patterns as to why they did not show up which may include being near the holiday season, early morning, late afternoon, and so forth. The occasional missed appointment is often quickly forgotten, but you may be surprised just how many skip their appointments in a period of just a few months. For your practice and Centricity and EPIC Billing companies, this represents lost revenue and an addressable flaw in your scheduling practices.
But if you understand who, when, and why patients are not showing up for appointments, you can make the proper adjustments to reduce the number.
You can make some improvements simply by doing the basics which include the following;
- Setting the appointment well in advance
- Scheduling reminder calls well in advance
- Calling the day before as a reminder
- Using “just in time” texting to remind patients of an upcoming appointment a few hours in advance
By doing all of these things, the number of no-shows can be reduced or if they tell you they cannot show up, you can then quickly book another appointment in its place.
Reasons Why No-Shows Occur
While there are a number of reasons patients fail to show up for their appointments, there are some basic ones that will help you understand why no-shows occur.
Little to No Rapport: The less you know about a patient, the more likely they are to miss an appointment. This often happens when you get a lot of new patients around the same time. It can be difficult to get to know all of them well, but you can make extra strides in building up your rapport so they feel more comfortable with you.
Long Wait Times: The memory of having to sit around and wait well past the scheduled appointment time is enough to turn many off from your practice. So, you will need to be more efficient in how you schedule patients and make sure they are seen and addressed on-time.
In addition, many patients may not be fully aware of the impact their no-show has on your practice which may have them doubling up their effort to make it or at least call in advance if they cannot. While some no-shows will still occur even to the best family practice billing, at least the number can be reduced to a reasonable amount.