Patient Appointment Cancellations – How to Turn Them to Your Advantage

by | Published on Apr 24, 2013 | Appointment Scheduling

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Appointment cancellations and no-shows are distressing for physicians’ practices. Patients who fail to show up for an appointment or cancel it reduce your revenues and cause waste of valuable staff time. Cancellations also have a negative impact on patient care.  However, you can actually turn the situation to your advantage. Here are some strategies that you can employ to do so:

When a patient cancels his/her visit, ask what prompted the cancellation – request the specific reason. Instruct your back office staff to prepare a cancellation report for the week so that you can review it and identify the main reasons that caused the cancellation. Take a close look to see if the patient is consulting another physician or taking a healthcare decision without consulting you.

Once you’ve identified the appropriate reason, tell your staff to contact the patient on the phone. If the patient is in pain and cancelled the visit because of this, you should try to bring him or her in to identify the cause of the pain or provide a reference to a pain management specialist.

If you find that the patient cancelled the appointment due to the cost of the treatment, it’s your responsibility to convince them that though costly, the treatment or test is necessary. You can help them choose the right payment mode. Insurance plans offer two choices: a low monthly premium with a high annual deductible and a high premium with a low deductible.  Try to devise a budget-friendly payment plan to help your patients out. This can help prevent cancellations.

Patient appointment scheduling itself can be hectic and the best way to manage the task is to rely on a professional healthcare business process outsourcing company.  The right firm can help you save 30-40% on your operational costs with efficient and affordable online patient scheduling solutions.

Natalie Tornese

Holding a CPC certification from the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), Natalie is a seasoned professional actively managing medical billing, medical coding, verification, and authorization services at OSI.

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