Top Reasons Patients Fail to Show Up for Their Medical Appointments

Top Reasons Patients Fail to Show Up for Their Medical Appointments

It can be very discouraging when patients fail to follow through on their long-term medical recommendations. This is especially true in cases where critical services, like dialysis or chemotherapy, are concerned. You really don’t want your patients to miss their appointments, but sometimes, the limiting circumstances are simply out of your patient’s control. Hence, it’s worth taking a closer look at patients who don’t show and potential solutions to the problem.

Here are some of the most common reasons:

  • Cost - In some cases, the co-pay or other out-of-pocket expenses are enough to deter patients from showing up for their appointments.
  • Nervousness - Patients may be nervous about an upcoming procedure, or they may not think you care enough to worry about them when they don’t show up.
  • Forgetfulness - It’s very common for patient to forget their scheduled appointment times, especially when patients are either very busy or suffering from age-related cognitive decline.
  • Transportation - Lack of reliable transportation accounts for an estimated 67% of patient no-shows, especially for patients who aren’t able to drive themselves or are wheelchair bound.

When you take the time to better understand these common factors, the problem becomes much easier to address. The best part is that if you take a practical approach to bridging these gaps, you’ll see it in your bottom line in no time.

Wheelchair Car Transfer: Safety Tips for Loading and Unloading Ambulatory Loved Ones

Wheelchair Car Transfer: Safety Tips for Loading and Unloading Ambulatory Loved Ones

When it comes to transporting ambulatory loved ones, it’s important to learn how to correctly and safely perform  a wheelchair car transfer.  So, do you know the proper steps for a safe transfer?  Take a look:

Wheelchair Transfer to Car

Step 1:  Position person near vehicle door

Step 2:  Lock brakes

Step 3:  Remove legs from footrests

Step 4:  Move footrests away, and remove

Step 5:  Lift person out of chair

Step 6:  Take small steps back to the door

Step 7:  Lower the person into the seat

Step 8:  Pivot patient legs and back toward the front using one arm around their back and one under their knees

Step 9:  Assist with seatbelt, and ensure arms and legs are inside

Wheelchair Transfer From Car

Step 1:  Position wheelchair, and lock brakes

Step 2:  Assist with seatbelt

Step 3:  Place one arm behind their back and one under their knees, and pivot toward door

Step 4:  Lift them out of the seat with arms wrapped around their upper body

Step 5:  Take small steps to the wheelchair

Step 6:  Lower them into the wheelchair

Step 7:  Reattach the footrests

Step 8:  Position feet on the footrests

Step 9:  Disengage brakes

For those loading in and out of vehicles that aren’t close to the ground, the BodyHealt Portable Folding Riser Step Stool is an invaluable tool.  It’s foldable, portable, safe, and sturdy making it perfect for helping loved ones who have limited mobility load in and out of ground transportation vehicles.  With that said, the easiest way to transport a wheelchair user is to use wheelchair accessible vehicles.

Surgical Patient No-Shows: Understanding It's Impact.

Surgical Patient No-Shows: Understanding It's Impact.

It's Tuesday morning and you are expecting 36 patients. To accommodate them, you schedule staff, prepped your facilities and reviewed files - only to realize that only 20 patients showed up!  Not only did you lose revenue, but you incurred additional costs and lost time.

Frustrated?

Well, you are not alone. This happens to medical facilities throughout the country, as medical practices experience 19% surgical patient no-shows on average.  Whether you are a healthcare provider, practice manager or family caregiver, one fact remains true for everyone involved in a medical care scenario; we all want what is best for the patient. Hence when a patient misses an appointment, we tend to look more at the potential impact to the patient’s health. It’s so easy to overlook the impact it has to the practice, but as a healthcare professional, you’d be remiss to ignore these consequences. After all, whether or not you can continue providing this critical service depends on your ability to sustain and grow a profitable medical practice.

 

As noted above, on average 19% of patients miss appointments, but let’s do the math with some smaller numbers.  If you run an ambulatory surgical center Monday to Friday and expect 10 – 12 patients a day and assuming  just $100 in payroll, equipment, rent and utilities for each scheduled patient, one no-show a day will cost you $26,000 a year in idle resources!  In reality you will likely get 2 – 4 no-shows. And it gets worse…

We just mentioned the cost of idle resources, but what about the lost revenue? When a patient referred to you never makes it to his or her appointment, you lose the potential billing associated with that case. Assuming the average bill for a procedure is $1,500 and you lose one customer a week (you will likely lose more), that’s $75,000 in lost revenue!

You may have your own methods of calculating the cost of no-shows. No matter how you run the numbers, when you add up the extra money you could make by cutting your no-show rate by 50% to 70%, you will find it’s worth it to do something.

Keep in mind that you won’t likely cut your no-shows without some investment in:

Does Uber have wheelchair accessible? What are my options?

Does Uber have wheelchair accessible? What are my options?

Assuming the national statistics hold true in Houston, TX, there are over 25,000 wheelchair users in the city over the age of 15 there are 14,000 new wheelchair users added to that number every year.  Yet, getting around Houston for wheelchair users is more difficult then ever as very few neighborhoods have access to public accessible transit.  Furthermore, with many neighborhoods lacking sidewalks, even traveling less than a mile can be impossible.

So how do wheelchair users get around Houston?

  1. Metrolift: as noted earlier, many neighborhoods in Houston are not covered by this service
  2. UBER/Lyft: While both provide great on demand service for ambulatory passengers, they are not the best choice for wheelchair users or people requiring a bit more assistance. To better understand this, take a look at this forum where Lyft & UBER drivers discuss their views on serving older Americans.
  3. NEMT: While Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) companies provide the right level of service, they are not the best when it comes to accommodating last minute requests for a wheelchair transportation. Furthermore, the quality of service varies greatly from one company to the next.  A great question to ask a provider when signing up for service is the average age of their vehicles and the amount of insurance coverage they have.  For more information on what to look for, go here.

Houston, TX is already a pretty complex city to navigate with constructions everywhere and current road conditions.  Hence, folks with disabilities and their loved ones ought to consider early how they will get around the city and do their due diligence vs. trying to book a ride at the last minute.  For more information or if you have questions on your options, please call us: (713) 766-4447 or send us a message.