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Cancelled Appointments and No-Shows- the True Cost

By December 21, 2020No Comments

Cancelled Appointments and No-Shows- the True Cost

Nick Kagal, MBA, FACHE, FHIMSS

Vice President of Business Development, SpinSci

As health systems and providers experience a continued tightening of revenue streams it has become more critical than ever for them to be able to improve operational efficiencies.  One of the hidden costs of healthcare is the cost of appointment no-shows and cancellations.  A missed patient appointment drains valuable resources from an organization while delivering the double whammy of a missed revenue opportunity.

The healthcare industry loses over $150 billion a year in no-shows1, that’s without considering the additional cost of appointment cancellations.  The overall no-show rate is over 18%

and there’s also the hidden cost of the impact on both patient and provider experience as appointments are rescheduled. This drives the importance of understanding critical keys to patient engagement and making the necessary improvements supporting patient access.

An Accenture study focusing on Patient Engagement projected that 66% of US health systems would offer digital self-scheduling and 64% of patients would book appointments digitally by 2020 which would deliver $3.2 billion in value for health systems2.

So how do health systems address the lost opportunities and further engage their patients.  The answers lie in new cutting-edge technologies targeted at allowing patients to participate in their care.  Allowing them to view their records, schedule and reschedule their appointments, to be able to get their medications updated- all while instantaneously updating their Electronic Health Records (EHRs) which keeps their doctors, nurses and therapists updated on their status.  Seamless communication- and not just via voice, the introduction of text, chat and voice recognition allow patients to become more engaged with their health providers in a more real-time manner.  This engagement is proven to drive down no-show rates and cancellations- exemplified by a NY based physician group who saw their no-show rate cut by 35% after implementing patient engagement technology3.

1Health Management Technology, May 2017

2Patient Engagement, Accenture, 2016

3Healthcare IT News, May 27, 2020