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No-Show Patients: Reducing the Toll on Healthcare Efficiency and Revenue

Reducing no-shows in healthcare is crucial to ensure efficient use of resources, minimize patient wait times, and improve overall healthcare delivery. Additionally, missed appointments may impact a physician’s revenue and further strain the health system. 

In a 2022 Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Stat poll, almost half (49%) of medical groups reported an increase in no-show rates since 2021.¹ 

Leveraging a combination of communication strategies and technology can be an effective approach to reduce patient no-shows while helping to streamline practice operations: 

  • Provide patients with an online portal to allow for seamless appointment scheduling that helps them control their schedule. 
  • Ensure clear and concise communication with patients regarding appointment details, including date, time, location, and any necessary preparation instructions 
    to avoid confusion or misunderstandings that may contribute to no-shows.
  • Educate patients about the importance of attending scheduled appointments and the potential consequences of no-shows. Highlight the impact on their own health and the healthcare system. Provide patients with a written no-show policy outlining the required notification and fees if appointments are not cancelled within the required time. 
  • Implement automated patient reminders through HIPAA compliant text messaging, email, automated phone calls, or via patient portal which facilitates easy appointment confirmations and allows the patient to cancel in a timely manner if needed. Healthcare providers can identify potential no-shows in advance and reschedule accordingly. 
  • Offer flexible scheduling options to patients, such as evening or weekend appointments to help accommodate their availability and reduce the likelihood of no-shows due to conflicting commitments.
  • Reduce patient barriers to care by providing convenient access to telemedicine and virtual appointments for certain healthcare services. 
  • Provide transportation assistance or information on available public transportation options for patients who may have difficulty reaching the healthcare facility. Lack of transportation can be a significant barrier to attendance for some patients.
  • Address potential financial obstacles that may prevent patients from attending appointments by offering flexible payment options, assistance programs, or insurance guidance.  

¹Harrop C. “Patient no-shows pose concern amid medical practice staffing challenges, consumer price hikes.” MGMA. Aug. 3, 2022. Available from:

Andie Tena is CAP’s Assistant Vice President of Practice Management Services. Questions or comments related to this column should be directed to