Missed appointments waste money

Medical appointment no shows create a waste of valuable treatment time and deprive others from receiving care. Additionally, with an estimated loss of $212 for every no show, just five missed appointments would cost more than $1,000. The 355th Medical Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., saw a loss of $1.4 million due to no shows during fiscal year 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Saphfire Cook/Released)

Medical appointment no shows create a waste of valuable treatment time and deprive others from receiving care. Additionally, with an estimated loss of $212 for every no show, just five missed appointments would cost more than $1,000. The 355th Medical Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., saw a loss of $1.4 million due to no shows during fiscal year 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Saphfire Cook/Released)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- With today's fast-paced lifestyle it's easy to forget things. For instance, preparing your service coat for a ceremony you're involved in the next day might cause you to forget to return a movie you rented, or trying to finish up an Evaluation Performance Report before the deadline may cause you to miss a scheduled dental appointment.

A late movie rental will probably only cost you a few extra bucks, but according to the 355th Medical Group, a missed medical appointment costs the Air Force much more.

"In fiscal year 2013, there were more than 6,500 'no shows'," said Capt. Donella Dent, 355th MDG Group Practice manager.

No shows create a waste of valuable treatment time and deprive others from receiving care. Additionally, with an estimated loss of $212 for every no show, just five missed appointments would cost more than $1,000.

"Last years missed medical appointments cost this base, approximately $1.4 million," Dent said.

Patients can be considered a no show for an appointment if they fail to show up to their scheduled appointment, show up to their appointment after the scheduled time or fail to cancel their appointment at least a day prior.

If an emergency prevents a patient from attending their scheduled appointment, they need to notify their leadership to ensure the 355th MDG is contacted immediately.

"Once a patient is annotated as a no show, it is reported to the members unit," Dent said. "At that time, the unit decides if extenuating circumstances caused the patient to miss their appointment."

The 355th Medical Group is an integral part of D-M's mission success. It's not only dentist and doctors, but also mental health counselors and patient advocates. They all work as a team to take care of the Air Force's most valuable resource, its Airmen and their families.