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Patient no-shows are problematic in all areas of the health care industry, but especially for community health centers. No-shows not only negatively impact healthcare by preventing patients from receiving necessary services, but also significantly decrease health center revenues. Although patient no-show rates vary across the entire healthcare system, community health centers can often experience higher no-show rates due to the patient population being served. Factors impacting these numbers include mental health diagnoses, inadequate transportation, childcare needs, and other logistical issues.
Although strategies for improving no-show rates are dependent on the trends of the patient population, some standard approaches include the following:
Most health centers maintain a No-Show Policy that outlines the process for managing no-shows. It is important to remember, the procedures in place must contain clear guidelines, yet do not limit access to care.