Healthcare Industry Loses $150 Billion Annually

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By Chris Ochs, Chief Development Officer, Kerico

chris osha headshotThe healthcare industry is grappling with a significant financial burden attributed to an often overlooked challenge: patient no-shows. Surprisingly, statistics reveal that 25% to 30% of all medical appointments, 40% of Medicaid appointments, and 50% of primary care appointments end in no-shows. This issue translates to a staggering annual loss of $150 billion for the U.S. healthcare industry.

Transportation barriers are a major factor contributing to missed medical appointments. Statistic show that transportation issues are cited as the reason for missing medical appointments 7% of the time, with seniors reporting this as the primary reason an overwhelming 65% of the time. A study published in the NIH National Library of Medicine has linked transportation barriers to a decline in continuity of care, reduced use of regular outpatient care, increased emergency department visits, and higher readmission rates, all of which contribute to elevated costs for individuals and third-party payers.

The repercussions of patient no-shows extend beyond financial implications, impacting clinic revenue, staff productivity, and creating scheduling and operational stress. Moreover, patients suffer from disrupted continuity of care, further exacerbating the issue.

Addressing this issue is crucial not only for financial reasons but also for the overall well-being of patients. Improving accessibility to healthcare services, especially for those facing transportation barriers, can positively impact a community’s health. Providing reliable transportation has been identified as one of the most effective solutions, with substantial cost savings resulting from investing in non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT). In fact, for every dollar spent on NEMT, $11 is saved in long-term care.

Kerico, a premium non-emergency medical transportation company, is actively working to raise awareness of this issue and provide solutions. Recognized as care providers’ best choice for patient transportation, Kerico has successfully reduced “no-show” appointments, expedited hospital discharges, and increased patient satisfaction scores for Medicare Advantage across Texas.

By addressing the challenges posed by patient no-shows and transportation barriers, the healthcare industry can not only mitigate financial losses but also improve patient outcomes and operational efficiency.

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