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The cost of a no-show appointment

By Maj. Tanya Yelverton 2nd Medical Group

A missed medical appointment means a physician, technician and nurse suddenly find themselves with time on their hands that should have been filled by a patient seeking health care. Although the brief break from a particularly hectic day and the chance to reduce the pile of paperwork may be appreciated, the access to appointments, productivity and revenue lost by the missed appointment will never be recovered.
Since January, there have been more than 3K no-shows, costing the 2nd Medical Group more than $667K dollars in lost productivity of internal operating funds. The financial ramifications of a no-show, however, are not the sole reason for concern.

The cost of a no-show may negatively impact the patient's health, prevent other patients from using that appointment, and reduces access for all as well as lost time and money for the Medical Group.

In fiscal year 2011, 51 percent of no-shows were active-duty members. In October 2011, the 2 MDG began presenting no-show statistics to 2nd Bomb Wing leadership. The 2 MDG appreciates the support of local leadership as they help educate their staff at commander's calls as well as talking to their Airmen about no-shows. This effort has resulted in driving down active-duty no shows to 39 percent.

To further decrease the amount of no-shows, an appointment reminder system calls the patient two days prior to an appointment. The system sends a message identifying the appointment date and time.

Please note the appointment reminder system uses phone numbers listed in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, so it is critical to update your local phone number in DEERS by going to
https://pki.dmdc.osd.mil/appj/address/beneficiary/PostAuthenticateAction.do. The 2 MDG has begun calling patients that do not appear for appointments as well as sending no-show letters to commanders.

If you are unable to make your scheduled appointment, call the central appointment line at 318-456-6555 during normal duty hours to cancel. Call as soon as you are aware that you can't make your appointment, but no later than four hours prior so we have enough time to book another patient for that time slot.