Missed appointments cost the U.S. healthcare system $150B each year
An article by SCI Solutions, a healthcare IT solutions provider, reports the total cost of missed healthcare appointments in the United States every year is an astronomical $150 billion.
Each open, unused time slot costs a physician 60 minutes and $200 on average. Now factor in that no-show rates are as high as 30% nationwide, and you can see how that $150 billion figure is reached. With so many high-tech, digital reminders at our disposal, you may wonder how such an expensive and potentially dangerous problem exists.
A missed medical appointment could pose serious health risks for patients as it could mean the difference between catching a disease early on or too late. In addition, an inefficient scheduling process can wreak havoc and raise stress levels for both health systems’ staff and patients.
Below are some tips for health systems to address costly missed appointments:
- Provide a fast, streamlined experience for patients to book and keep appointments
88% of appointments are still scheduled by landline phone calls within most hospitals and medical practices. The majority of patients (65%) say they face challenges when trying to engage with their healthcare providers. Even though a recent Accenture report found that 77% of patients think the ability to book, change, or cancel appointments online is important, only 2.4% of appointments today are self-scheduled by the patient.
- Assure smart, complete scheduling to maximize capacity and utilization
Health systems can make use of a smart “rules engine” that guides patient access staff through the scheduling of any service, according to the clinical and operational requirements of their providers, departments, and facilities.
- Offer unmatched convenience
Organizations should handle insurance authorizations promptly as part of the initial scheduling process, and patients should receive friendly appointment reminders to help keep track with their hectic schedules.
What does this mean for your practice?
Providing your patients with easier ways to book appointments will increase revenue. Adding the ability to communicate with your patients online, whether booking, changing or canceling appointments, can result in higher patient retention and an increase in new patients. Since medical practices may be slow to adopt this online method, the sooner you can implement an online solution, the more revenue you’ll be able to capture from your competition.
If your medical practice is in need of additional funding to implement an online solution, contact us today to learn more about our Praxis solution.