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Doing everything possible to prevent patient no-shows

MGMA Stat - March 7, 2017

Business Strategy

Operations Management

MGMA Stat-prevent-no-shows.03.7.17

The Medical Group Management Association’s MGMA Stat poll asked healthcare professionals how their organizations prevent patient no-shows. Within the 52.23 percent that indicated they used multiple methods, over a third indicated they used phone calls, text messaging, and email reminders and just under a third used just phone calls and text messaging. For the respondents that indicated their organizations used a single communication method, 29.79 percent stated they called the patient, 3.67 percent used text messaging, and 1.17 percent used email. Only 2.42 percent indicated that their organization did not have an active program to contact patients about an upcoming appointment and over half of the respondents indicated they utilize multiple communication methods. 

The poll also asked how far in advance did the practice contact the patient.  Regardless whether the patient was contacted by phone, text, or e-mail, about half of the organizations contacted the patient two days before the appointment, and a quarter did so the day before.

The poll was conducted on March 7, 2017 and had 1,279 responses.

The MGMA 2016 Practice Operations Report examined the problem that medical groups have with patient no-shows.  The no-show rate varied among specialties with most specialties reporting a median of 5 percent patient no-shows, but neurology and general surgery being higher with an 8 percent no-show rate.

MGMA Stat is a national poll that addresses practice management topics, the impact of new legislation, and related topics. Participation is open to all healthcare leaders. Results of other polls and information on how to participate in MGMA Stat is available at:


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