The Cost Of Missed Appointments
Healthcare Practice Costs
When appointments are missed in the healthcare industry there are several costs to take into account. The most obvious of these is the revenue that the practice will lose. A practice will also use appointments to schedule their resources.
There are estimates that show that no shows can cost a physician up to $150,000 in lost earnings and this will increase for multi-physician practices. There was a recent example of a clinic which had 14,000 missed appointments and it was calculated that the revenue lost from this was over $1,000,000.
Staffing levels of doctors and nurses are usually regulated by the number of appointments that are booked. When a patient does not turn up for the appointment there is an impact on the overall profitability of the practice.
But it goes further than this as there is an impact inside the practice itself. Time and additional expense is incurred to reschedule missed appointments and this has the knock on effect of added delays for patients and the frustration that it causes both patients and members of staff. The efficiency of the practice is affected as a whole.
There is a cost to the patient who missed the appointment too. It is unlikely that a patient will make an appointment for no reason, they will require a check up or the solution to an ache or pain or another medical issue. So the cost here is the care that the patient has missed.
Dental Practice Costs
Like healthcare practices, dental offices suffer costs from missed appointments. Some surveys show that up to 10% of dental appointments are missed which means significant losses for the industry.
If a dental practice were to lose one appointment each day for a year then the lost revenue and other costs could be as high as $70,000. This is not unrealistic as one “no show” a day is very common. For cosmetic dentistry missed appointments the cost of no shows will be even higher.
The cost of rescheduling appointments and the frustration that this causes staff and patients also needs to be taken into consideration.
Then there is the patient care cost. By missing an appointment, a patient may have to endure a tooth pain for longer than necessary. They are missing the dental care that they require.
Practice Overtime Costs
It is not uncommon for healthcare and dental practices to have to pay some of their staff overtime to compensate for inefficiencies in the practice. Although this can’t all be attributed to missed appointments, it is likely that the cost of no shows will be a significant factor in this.
Patient Waiting Time Satisfaction Is Down
A recent survey, including healthcare practices and dental practices, showed that patient satisfaction with wait times in practices was down. They were asked to state whether the wait time was good or excellent and only 63% said that it was. Most practices have a target of 90% for this.
Legal Office Costs
In legal offices the cost of missed appointments can have a significant impact on the bottom line as well. If a client does not keep an appointment, then a substantial amount can be lost in consultation fees. If a legal office charges $250 an hour, then the lost revenue can mount up very quickly.
Some legal offices offer free initial consultations, but even with this the profitability of a legal office can be impacted by no shows. If the client fails to show up for a free initial consultation then they are even less likely to make a subsequent appointment where a bill for the lawyer’s time can be presented.
There are also the additional legal office staff costs. Time and money will be spent trying to reschedule appointments with no shows.
Finding New Legal Clients Is Expensive
There is always a cost associated with finding new clients to take into consideration as well and this can be expensive. It is not easy to find new clients, and once they have been found every effort should be made to keep them.
If a new client fails to show up to an initial consultation then it is not likely that they will ever appear again even if that consultation was free.