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Monday, December 10, 2007

Why I Hate No-Shows

For most of us in the service industry, no-shows are a part of life. For most of us in the service industry, no shows are an exasperating and costly part of life. People that no-show don't think it is a big deal. Here's why they are wrong.

1: Lost revenue: I see patients sparingly on Saturdays, ie I reserve the day for people that really have a difficult time making it to my office any other day. This Saturday, I had office hours from 8-11, staffed by 2 people x ~$28 per year = $84, not including my time. I had 4 no-shows, each worth ~$50 x 4 = $200 lost revenue for that day. I saw 4 other patients, 2 new and 2 follow-ups = $350. Total income for this day was $350- $84- $200 = $66. Now it may be worth my time to come in to the office for $550 - $84 = $466, but not for $66.

2: Increased liability: Unlike people that no-show to a restaurant, established patients that no-show to a doctor's office can cause future problems for themselves and for the doctor. Even though they--adults all, mind you--no-showed, it is our—the physician's—responsibility to make a reasonable attempt to contact them. To do this, we have to pull their charts, review them, make phone calls to the patients, and send them certified letters. What does all this cost? It costs a lot if you factor in the following: chart review = 10 minutes per chart X 4 charts = 40 minutes x my time + staff time to call x 4 + certified postage $5.39 x 4. Plus, a no-show patient that is lost to follow-up yet resurfaces several years later with a tumor that "you missed" can bankrupt you. No, no-show's ain't cheap.

3: Increase in uncompensated work: All of the above work by the doctor is uncompensated.

4: Inconsiderate: I call to cancel reservations at restaurants and for haircuts. It's just the right thing to do.

Thanks,

The IU.