With an aging population and extended lifetime expectancies, the US spends over $2 trillion a year on long-term disease prevention and illnesses. With many patients falling short of paying their mounting medical bills, the balance sheet has been stacking up against healthcare provides at an alarming rate. Currently, unpaid medical bills cost medical providers over $65 billion each year.
It’s a well-known fact that missed appointments cost the United States healthcare system a whopping $150 billion a year. Yes, one-hundred and fifty BILLION USD. And while technology has aided in “reminding” patients of appointments, most providers are simply putting a band-aid on an overwhelming problem facing the entire healthcare industry.
However, some forward-thinking providers are taking an “outside the box” approach to ensuring their patients actually make it to their scheduled appointments, ensuring the patient gets the care they desperately need and boosting revenue thru incentives provided by insurance companies.
In fact, addressing “no shows” is such a critical component to driving revenue and providing quality care that many providers are employing outside medical transportation companies to help transport patients from their homes to their appointments.
This tactic not only generates much-needed revenue, but leads to an increase in overall patient satisfaction, and, most importantly, positive medical outcomes.
Many providers take the “stick” vs the “carrot” approach, charring patients a fee for no-shows. And while it makes sense to hold patients accountable, this type of policy often leads to a number of negative outcomes such as:
• Increased patient dissatisfaction
• Patients leaving over ridged policies
• Increased administrative and collections costs
One negative interaction with your business can haunt you for years to come. Some research indicates that it can take up to twelve (12) additional “positive” interactions with a company to overcome the reputational damage done from ONE single negative experience.
Conversely, using a proactive and positive approach, such as hiring and making available transportation to and from doctor’s appointments can yield immeasurable rewards.
By understanding your patient base and why they miss appointments a provider can better address the actual problem. For example, many patients miss appointments simply because they are not feeling well enough to drive themselves and/or have no means of physically making it to their appointments. This is especially true of our aging population.
How does your practice handle missed patient appointments? Have you considered a proactive strategy such as hiring a medical transportation company to help accommodate your patient base? Are you unhappy or unsatisfied with the results of your current “no show” policies failing to make a positive impact on your bottom line and the health of your patrons?
With healthcare operational costs projected to skyrocket over the next decade, it is vital that practitioners and healthcare managers use forward thinking strategies to keeping costs down, improving patient satisfaction ratings and outcomes, and driving revenue thru novel approaches.