Do you remember that episode of Seinfeld titled The Kiss Hello? In it, George missed an appointment with his physical therapist. As a result, he had to pay a fee because he never showed. Later in the episode, his therapist cancelled an appointment to go skiing. Unable to connect, George felt he was entitled to $75 for his troubles.
However, this problem isn’t just limited to sitcoms. One woman in Houston had to pay $156.25 because she missed an appointment due to a flat tire.
So why do doctors charge when a patient misses an appointment?
In reality, when a patient doesn’t show for a scheduled appointment, it is costly. In the case of the woman with a flat tire, she missed an outpatient surgery. This means that both the doctor and the anesthesiologist that reserved this time for that patient lost out on wages. Over time, the cost of missed appointments adds up significantly. On average, missed appointments cost a single physician doctor’s office over $150,000 a year. These numbers are even higher for practices with more than one doctor. One practice alone had 14,000 no-shows in a single year, which resulted in over one million dollars in lost revenue.
The main reason why patients miss an appointment is simply because they forgot it. This forgetfulness isn’t just harmful to the practice. It is also harmful to the patient as they are not getting the medical care they need. Some offices have tried to prevent no shows by sending a postcard, or having someone call the patient. While reminder calls help curb forgetfulness, they are a burden for the staff of a medical office.
A better solution would be to send a text messages in the form of medical appointment reminders. Here’s why:
- 95.5% of the world’s population own a cell phone.
- Text messages have a phenomenal open rate of 98%
- Text messages are read within 5 minutes of being sent.
A text message sent via an automated reminder is more likely to get a response than a voice mail or an e-mail. Fortunately, IVR Technology Group has made mass communication simple with nResponse. With nResponse, a list of contacts can receive a message within minutes through our secure system.
Do some contacts prefer to get a phone call instead of a text message? Once your patients are in our secure database, you can send them reminder notifications according to their preferred method of communication. Voice message, text message and e-mails are all options. This system can send out quick appointment reminders or encourage patients to make one if it has been a while.
By contacting a patient using their preferred method of communication, it can help save time and money. Using our system will allow your staff to concentrate on delivering excellent patient care and not playing phone tag.