Did you know, on average patient no shows can cost the healthcare industry up to $150 billion annually? That is an immense waste of money that could contribute to more beneficial areas for the healthcare industry. Each missed appointment for a practice is lost money, which means there needs to be a solution for missing income. Some practices find it beneficial to have a fee charged to those who miss appointments to recoup some of the lost income. However, if there is a way to minimize the amount of missed appointments, then there is a better chance for increasing income. Starting with the beginning of the process, if scheduling is done well and pre-registration is completed, and the staff follow up with appointment reminders there is a higher probability that somewhere in those parts of the process the patient will cancel is needed. One of the top reasons for no shows is due to fear of payment. If prior to the appointment the patient knows exactly what they will owe after insurance, then they will more likely be willing to attend the appointment or reschedule for another time. Unfortunately, the number one reason for no shows is forgetfulness. Therefore, the appointment reminder phone call is important. The patient is more likely to cancel or remember to arrive for the appointment. Lastly, your practice should allow for cancellations, but there needs to be a cancellation policy in place. Patients should have ease of access to cancel through a patient portal, or the ability to call to cancel and know their call will be answered. Patients should be given a certain time frame in which they can cancel without penalty or reschedule. Take the time to review how your practice handles no shows, and from there find the areas for improvement, your cash-flow may depend on it.
One key strategy for improving your practices time-management, and overall effectiveness is to implement providing patients with pre-registration and any pre-visit paperwork. In collecting these materials and important information prior to the patient’s appointment, you are creating patient satisfaction while simultaneously improving the efficiency of your process overall.
Topics: Authorizations, customer service, customer satisfaction, Client communication, client services, communications, pediatric behavioral health, rural health, patient accounts, practice management, patient satisfaction, Coronis Health, medical billing, FQHC, Federally Qualified Health Center
Below is an article from NPR regarding instances where Teleheath has become a more popular form of healthcare access for rural health patients. The article gives patient examples of their use of Teleheath, and how if it weren’t for the opportunity to utilize Teleheath they would not have been able to receive care at all. This interesting article sheds light into a potential answer for rural health patients who need healthcare access. With many rural health clinics and hospitals closing, there are few places left for patients to go. In some instances, towns so small and isolated may not have a clinic at all. With Telehealth, those small-town individuals may have an opportunity to seek the care they need from a wide range of specialist and medical professionals from all over the country. Check out the article to learn more about how impactful Teleheath has been on these individuals and their communities.
With the ubiquity of social media and the ease of global connected-ness, it’s easy to think that long wait times are not a nuisance to patients. After all, the vast majority of people these days seem content spending time with their smartphones, tablets, and other devices.
Medical billers must have a comprehensive knowledge of various aspects of physician practice management. They must know billing and coding as well as explain the costs of medical treatment to a patient in person. They must also know Medicare/Medicaid regulations, HIPAA, and other complex state/federal guidelines, insurance requirements, and more.
To make your practice grow you need to have more patients, while making sure the existing ones keep coming back. The increasing competition practices face in the healthcare industry has made things tough, but not impossible. Your practice needs both new patients and retention of existing ones.
Let’s face it—today’s patients are flighty. They’re significantly more likely to switch practices than patients of just a few decades ago. In fact, experts estimate that one in three medical patients will leave their current provider within the next couple of years. A surprisingly large number of these are not switching due to insurance change or a household move, but because of unmet expectations. Driven by the experiences they’ve had in other industries, patients are looking for innovations and advances in their patient experience. Unfortunately, many providers are failing to meet these expectations.