Many outpatient therapy departments think of a no-show and cancellation reduction plan as a discharge plan. For example, if a patient does not show up a certain number of times, the organization may have a policy to discharge the patient. There is certainly a place for this for patients who repeatedly no-show and cancel. But first take a look to see if you have removed all of the barriers that the patients have to navigate to get to all of their appointments.
Creating a No-Show and Cancellation Reduction Plan
Going to outpatient physical therapy can be a stressful situation for patients, so it is important that your organization removes as many barriers as possible for these patients. Some of these barriers include schedule timing, financial, anxiety about attending the appointments, and more. Make sure your organization has created a no-show and cancellation reduction plan.
Some things that can be included in this plan are:
- Your organization should communicate with the patient before their first appointment and explain what will happen during that initial appointment and answer any questions the patient may have.
- At the end of every evaluation, therapist should spend time explaining to the patient the importance of consistent attendance.
- Have a point of service patient financial alternative when the patient has financial barriers.
- Use technology when possible for appointment reminders.
No-Show and Cancellation Reduction Plan Benefits
If your combined no-show/cancellation rate is greater than 12%, which is best practice, or another way of saying it is if your arrival rate less than 88%, your organization may have opportunity!
If you could improve your no-show/cancellation rate by 5%, what would it mean to your patients and your practice? More consistent care for patients means improved clinical outcomes and satisfaction scores. More consistent care for the hospital means more revenue to invest back into patient care.
So, take the time, energy and discipline to construct a no-show/cancellation plan that focuses on removing the barriers that prevent patients from getting their optimal number of visits for their plan of care.
Blue & Co.’s Outpatient Therapy Business Advisory Services provides both Assessment and Implementation Guidance to help hospitals understand their revenue and growth opportunities and facilitate changes in processes and behaviors to achieve them. These engagements are not about FTE reduction.
Contact John Britt or your local Blue & Co. advisor to learn more about Outpatient Therapy No-Show and Cancellation Reduction.
John Britt, Senior Manager