Telemedicine Offers Solution for No-Show Appointments
Converting late cancellations and no-show appointments to telemedicine visits increases access to care without the need for rescheduling, according to new research.
Investigators identified adult rheumatology patients with late cancellations (within 24 hours of appointment) or impending no-show appointments from September 2020 to March 2023
These patients were contacted and were offered the option of converting their in-person appointment to a telemedicine visit, either by phone or video.
The program was piloted at one clinic beginning September 1, 2020, and was expanded to a second clinic on September 1, 2021.
Of 624 eligible visits, 516 (83%) were converted to telehealth visits. Phone visits were slightly more popular than video visits (54% vs 46%, respectively).
Patients who were older, who lived in a rural area, or who were on Medicare and Medicaid were more likely to opt for phone visits.
The intervention resulted in an additional 258 hours of patient care.
The reduction in lost revenue for phone vs video telemedicine visits was $7298 ($39.19 per appointment).
“Our simple, targeted strategy of converting appointments to telehealth when an in-person appointment is identified as at-risk resulted in significant access gains and modest revenue loss reduction,” with net gains overall, the authors write.
Sancia Ferguson MD, MPH, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine, presented the research at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 2023 Annual Meeting, abstract 1007.
The study was conducted at two clinics in the UW Health system and may not be implementable in smaller practices.
Senior author Christie Bartels, MD, also of University of Washington-Madison School of Medicine, reports receiving a research grant from Pfizer unrelated to this study.
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