Appointment ‘no-shows’ waste time, money

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People call and set up an appointment with their doctor, but life happens and the appointment get forgotten until about an hour after they were supposed to check-in.  These people are now officially known as “no-shows,” said TRICARE officials.


A no-show occurs when a patient misses an appointment without making any attempt to cancel or reschedule 24 hours in advance.


When people miss an appointment, it keeps another patient from using that appointment slot for care they need, explained officials.  Also, the office can’t move all the rest of the day’s appointments up to fill the space so the time slot goes unused. 


The American Medical Association policy says a doctor may charge for a missed appointment – or failing to cancel 24 hours in advance – if the office advises patients they will be charged if they miss an appointment.  The fee can range from $20- $40 and isn’t covered by TRICARE. 


Officials advise people to keep their appointments or reschedule them at least 24 hours in advance.  If people are being seen at a military hospital or clinic, they can do this through TRICARE Online.  


TRICAREOnline is available 24/7, and people can use this portal to set appointment notifications and set up email and text message reminders. People who can’t make an appointment, can cancel it right then.


Missed appointments can result in reduced continuity of care and possibly late identification of other health problems, said officials. (Courtesy of TRICARE)