How to Reduce the Percentage of Missed Healthcare Appointments Because of Travel

In the United States, millions of patients miss healthcare appointments because of travel. This is a huge problem for both the healthcare system and the patients themselves. It is one of the top barriers to care and leads to lost revenue. The cost of missed and rescheduled appointments adds up to $150 billion annually.1

Studies consistently show that lack of transportation and the time and distance associated with travel are the leading reasons for missed healthcare visits.2 This is a particularly acute issue for rural communities, where access to public transit is often limited.3

To address this, many healthcare systems have partnered with ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft in an attempt to increase patient attendance by offering free rides to and from medical appointments. However, a recent study in JAMA found that while a partnership with ridesharing increased overall clinic visit rates, the rate of missed primary care appointments did not decrease compared to the control group.

One option for increasing attendance is to provide text message appointment reminders. This is a tactic that the majority of MGMA Stat participants use, with 57% reporting that they send these types of reminders to their patients. However, the results of this study were not promising; patients who received personalized reminders missed just as many appointments as those who did not receive these messages. percentage of missed healthcare appointments because of travel

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