Same-day cancellations and no-shows bring problems to your practice
Same-day cancellations and no-shows can wreak havoc on private practice.
As owners and managers, we’re often pulled in many directions when running our private practices. And since margins are usually low in health care, any loss of revenue can cut into our bottom line.
Our most significant financial losses occur when our schedules aren’t full since our primary income comes from treating our patients.
In a 2020 survey, same-day cancellations and no-shows ranked as one of the biggest buttons for the owners and managers who responded.
Believe me, when I say I get it! When I started working in our practice in 2012, our average daily arrival rate was 75%!
Yes, 75% arrivals meant we were losing 25% of our expected revenue on any given day. Even worse, 25% of our patients weren’t arriving as scheduled for the care they needed to recover.
As a physical therapist my main purpose has always been about helping a patient achieve full recovery so they live life to its fullest potential.
As a practice owner, I wasn’t the only one treating patients. I needed to ensure that everyone on our team remained focused on our goal and that I provided them with the proper training to ensure they could be as successful as Mike and I. This is true, especially when we stepped back and let our team take the reins.
Same-day cancellations hurt everyone
While cancellations disturb the efficiency of your entire machine, same-day cancellations don’t just hurt your bottom line or the patient who canceled. They’re also hurting another patient who may not have gotten the care they need and deserve.
Lower patient arrivals means that a higher percentage of patients aren’t getting the care they need and deserve!
People are busy, or at least they perceive ‘busy-ness’; so when you call them at the last minute to offer an appointment time, they’re less likely to take it. So, now you have a vacant opening that could have been helping someone work toward recovery.
If that patient canceled on the same day or was a no-show, rescheduled to another day (which they should), they also take up another opening on your schedule. Simply put, they are using two available spots for one appointment.
These same-day cancellations create unnecessary work for your Patient Care Coordinators because instead of working on offering unscheduled or partially scheduled patients a chance for care, they are dealing with same-day cancellations and no-shows. These situations keep them focused on today’s problems rather than on being proactive and working on tomorrow’s actions. This makes your PCCs feel inefficient and ineffective.
For every same-day cancellation that’s rescheduled for another day, that patient is taking two available spots for just one visit. And that affects your efficiency AND your bottom line.
The more efficient your practice, the larger the margin on your bottom line AND the more patients who get the care they need to reach full recovery.
How to stop same-day cancellations with Front Office GURU
If you want to make your practice more efficient, improve your bottom line, AND increase your clean arrival rate, there are several things you can do:
- PREVENTION – Your team should ALWAYS be about the prevention of patient problems. If you want more people to get the help and care they need and deserve each day, your PCCs must focus on prevention. You must have a system for preventing same-day cancellations and no-shows. This system will help your PCCs encounter less stress, feel more successful, and improve the efficiency of your practice.
- METRICS – As a good friend says, ‘no metrics, no discussion’. If you’re not tracking and measuring a clean arrival rate, you don’t know when the machine isn’t running at full efficiency. Make sure your team tracks clean arrival ratse and schedule utilization percentages daily. If not, you’re missing vital information that can prevent same-day cancellations.
- BUILD Patient Care Coordinators – Your team members who work at your front desk aren’t receptionists or representatives. They provide a vital service to all patients, just like your clinicians. And they need your help. Make sure you provide the necessary training to help them overcome patient objections and also provide systems for success.
- TRAIN YOUR TEAM! – As a practice owner or manager, don’t assume that someone at your front desk knows what you need from them or that they know HOW to do what you need successfully. When you offer training and provide systems for proper patient management, you help your team achieve success. It’s essential to train your team to manage patients properly, fill the schedule and keep it full, convert leads, and stop same-day cancellations and no-shows.
Learn more about why patients cancel: Why Patients Cancel