• April 17, 2024

Missed Appointments in Healthcare

A common and frustrating problem facing healthcare clinicians is missed appointments (also known as no-shows). When a patient does not attend their appointment or cancels within 24 hours of the appointment, it gives the health center no opportunity to fill that time slot. This results in a loss of revenue for the practice and disrupts the flow of care. A recent study estimated that no-shows cost the United States $150 billion a year (Dantas et al., 2019).

The reasons patients miss their appointments are many and varied: forgetfulness, scheduling conflicts, and misunderstandings of the appointment process are the most common reasons cited by both researchers and patients. But there are also demographic factors that may influence a patient’s decision to miss their appointment: aging, lower socioeconomic status, and psychosocial problems are all associated with higher rates of missed appointments. In addition, some patients experience barriers to attending their appointments: language limitations, lack of transportation, and childcare responsibilities can all contribute to missed visits.

While there is some debate about the ethical issues related to charging patients for missed appointments, most medical regulatory colleges leave it up to the physician to decide when and how much to charge. This approach enables physicians to make decisions that reflect their community and patients’ needs. However, it is important for practices to consider the other underlying factors that contribute to missed appointments, including a patient’s ability to pay for services and their perception of the value of their health care. missed appointments in healthcare

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