December 28, 2022 | Net Health

3 min read

How to Reduce Rehab Therapy No-Shows by Addressing Missed Visits

No-shows and last-minute cancellations make up an unfortunate aspect of doing business in outpatient rehab therapy.

This can be a true wakeup call for newer practitioners when successful efforts to fill the clinic’s schedule through marketing and referrals still result in a missed-visit rate of one in every four patients.1

But, why do so many patients consistently miss their scheduled appointments? And, once we know the whys, what can be done about improving the odds of more patients showing up?

According to one study, the top reason for missed appointments is based on simple human nature: patients simply forget.

Why Patients Miss Appointments

The study, published in 2018, was the result of a telephone survey of patients who had recently canceled medical appointments or who had failed to show up. Surveyors essentially asked each one, “Why didn’t you make it?”

Of those they spoke with, a whopping 37.6% said they simply forgot about the appointment or didn’t know they had an appointment scheduled.2

Other reasons for canceling or not showing up included:

  • Personal or work-related issues (16.1%)
  • Transportation issues (6.9%)
  • Feeling too sick to come to the appointment (5.5%)
  • Issues with insurance coverage (5%)
  • Dissatisfaction or negative emotions tied to the clinic/practitioner (4.1%)

While some of these reasons can be broken into more nuanced categories, the consequences of each failure to show are the same.

In outpatient healthcare, missed visits typically cost practitioners between $160 to $200 per incident.3 And since patients with just a single missed appointment are twice as likely to prematurely self-discharge,4 both missed revenue and lower patient outcomes can make each incident much more costly.

That’s why it’s important outpatient rehab therapy clinics have a multi-tiered strategy for reducing missed appointments.

Tips to Reduce No-Shows, Cancellations in Rehab Therapy

In response to the near-universal need to minimize the number of last-minute cancellations and no-shows in outpatient rehab therapy, our experts at Net Health have compiled a list of practitioner-proven strategies.

We pulled these tips together into a single ebook, which we’re currently offering for free on our website.

Titled “5 Strategies for Reducing Last-Minute Rehab Therapy Cancellations and No-Shows,” this ebook takes a more in-depth look at the reasons behind missed visits and the impact they have on rehab clinics across the U.S.

We then provide five top strategies we would like to see implemented throughout the outpatient rehab therapy world. This includes the use of a first-of-its-kind predictive analytics tool, the Missed Visit Prediction Indicator, that harnesses the power of data to determine the likelihood that individual patients may miss future appointments.

To learn more about how your rehab therapy team can vastly reduce missed appointments at your outpatient clinic, download our free ebook today!

5 Strategies for Reducing Last-Minute Rehab Therapy Cancellations and No-Shows

Maximize revenue and improve outcomes by ensuring more patients show up!

Access Ebook

National Library of Medicine, “Data Analytics and Modeling for Appointment No-Shows in Community Health Centers,” Nov. 17, 2018
Journal of Family Medicine and Disease Prevention, “Why Do Patients Miss Their Appointments at Primary Care Clinics?” Sept. 28, 2018
3 4  Healthcare Innovation, “Missed Appointments Cost the U.S. Healthcare System $150B Each Year,” April 26, 2017

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