By Stericycle Staff | Mar. 28, 2016

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Chances are, you know it better than anyone: No-shows can have a significant impact on your bottom line, because a missed appointment means that your fixed costs (things like rent and payroll) are spread across fewer visits, effectively increasing the average cost per service.

But do you know how big the no-show problem really is? Some experts say that no-shows, along with late cancellations, cost the American healthcare system more than $150 billion per year. For an individual practice, this can mean $100 to more than $1,000 per appointment, depending on specialty and location.

So let’s do some math. Say you’re a large group practice who sees about 5,000 patients a month and on average about 600 of those patients no-show. That means your no-show rate is 12%. At a conservative $100 per appointment, this could mean $720,000 in lost revenue each year! But, if you were able to reduce your no-show rate by even just 50% (a very reasonable goal with the right approach) from 600 to 300 per month, suddenly you’re looking at a 6% no-show rate with a loss of $360,000 annually rather than $720,000. Problem solved (or at least really moving in the right direction)!

While there are a number of ways providers can manage the no-show challenge, including implementing no-show fees and overbooking (neither of which we’re fans of, because they can have serious implications for patient satisfaction and retention), automated appointment reminders have proven effective again and again.

Sent via email, voice and/or text, they allow you to reach your patients where they are: on their mobile devices, according to findings from IDC Research and others. (Although the right patient communications solution will work on landlines and good old desktops, too.)

Is your practice leveraging automated appointment reminders to reduce no-shows? If not, we can help. Reach out today or see how we’re already helping other practices like yours here.

Stericycle Staff

Author: Stericycle Staff

Stericycle has been delivering communication services to North American companies for over 25 years. Since 2011, we’ve been blogging about how to deliver best-in-class communications to patients and consumers – providing practical advice and current best practices for both healthcare and commercial organizations. We hope you enjoy and keep reading!
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