Nurses who work in physician practices know the pain of people who constantly miss their doctor’s appointments, or who are unprepared when they do show up. It’s estimated that 10-25% of all patients who schedule a doctor’s appointment miss their appointments – staggering numbers indeed.
Now, we nurses understand that life is tough – sometimes you can’t make it to an appointment, sometimes you forget, or you just can’t make it. However, at ScrubsMag, we think it’s important to make it clear that these sorts of no-shows are, in fact, very costly.
Whether you’re a nurse who has missed a doctor’s appointment or are a nurse who works in a physician practice and has to deal with the fallout, we’ve put together a list of the 4 things that happen when you miss a doctor’s appointment – and why they matter.
- You Will Be Charged For Missing Your Appointment
This is a very controversial practice – especially among patients who often miss appointments. Most physicians charge somewhere between $30-120 for a “no-show”, or a cancellation that has less than 24 hours of advance notice.
Now, there’s a grain of truth to the fact that doctors aren’t precisely paid per patient – generally, one patient missing an appointment doesn’t actually “cost” a practice a significant amount of money.
However, a pattern of patients making appointments and failing to appear can cost a practice quite a bit of time and money – so the monetary penalties are there to ensure that there is an actual “cost” to missing an appointment. This can ensure that more patients show up on time, and don’t forget their appointments.
- You May Have Trouble Getting Another Appointment
Many physician practices and clinics have a huge volume of patients – and booking an appointment sometimes must be done weeks in advance. If a patient misses their appointment – especially with a specialist practice – it may be quite a while before they can be seen, due to highly rigorous scheduling.
If patients are in serious need of attention, clinics and physician practices will work with them to resolve their issues and get an appointment quickly, but this may even involve sending a patient to a different physician who is available sooner – which is not an ideal solution and can cause the quality of care to suffer.