5 strategies to reduce expensive patient no-shows

One multiphysician practice can experience around 14,000 patient no-shows each year, according to a whitepaper by Medbridge Transport.

Medbridge Transport, a company that provides transportation services to Houston-based ASCs, offered five tips for handling patients who don't come to their appointments:

1. Establish an effective reminder system. Text messaging may be more effective than email, with 98 percent of patients responding to text reminders, compared to 20 percent responding to emails.

2. Schedule an appointment as soon as there's availability, rather than weeks or months out. Use a scheduling system with robust data to track which small percentage of patients drives the most no shows, and plan accordingly.

3. Ask patients why they didn't show up and offer additional support to address the problem.

4. Incentivize patients to pay for their appointments beforehand. Consider giving a small discount or prizes to patients who keep their appointments.

5. Enlist a local patient transport service. Transport personnel should be qualified to handle any medical complications that may arise during the trip.

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