March 30, 2022

How Automated Appointment Reminders Reduce Patient No-Shows

by
Jason Scott

According to a study published in the American Journal of Medicine, patients who don’t receive reminders fail to show up for their scheduled appointments around 23% percent of the time. That was before COVID-19. The issue somewhat improved during the pandemic because of the availability of telehealth services, but it’s still a huge problem. If you want to reduce no-shows, use automated appointment reminders.

Does it matter?

No-shows should not be disregarded. They can impact the patient’s treatment outcomes because they can’t get the medical care they require. Moreover, missed appointments reduce patient compliance with their care plan, leading to costlier care needs down the line. No-shows can also cause lost clinician time and prevent you from seeing other patients, decreasing the efficiency of your practice.

Measures to reduce patient no-shows

Some practices charge a fee for missing appointments without advanced notice to ensure patients show up for their appointments. In 2007, the CMS released guidance for providers to bill Medicare beneficiaries for missed appointments as long as they follow some guidelines. But the fee only covers the cost of the missed business opportunity, not the lost revenue from that missed appointment.

Your practice can be better by implementing automated appointment reminders via texts or calls. Automating text reminders and interactive voice responses (IVRs) can also help your practice improve its medical billing process while enhancing operational efficiency. You can streamline payment reminders and increase efficiency using customizable messages, frequency, and timing by embracing technology.

Why do you need it?

Not all patients prefer to use the same communication channels with their healthcare providers. Some may prefer phone calls or emails, while others prefer to receive texts. It’s essential to communicate with your patients through their preferred channel to increase the chances of them showing up to their appointments and paying on time. Some platforms for automated appointment reminders also come with an analytics solution to help you understand individual patient preferences and gain insights into their preferred communication method.

Usage of automated patient reminders helps send interactive voice responses, text messages, or emails to your patients. This helps boost patient satisfaction and encourages them to pay at their convenience, too.

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