To charge or not to charge: reducing patient no-show

Gideon Leibner*, Shuli Brammli-Greenberg, Joseph Mendlovic, Avi Israeli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: In order to reduce patient no-show, the Israeli government is promoting legislation that will allow Health Plans to require a co-payment from patients when reserving an appointment. It is hoped that this will create an incentive for patients to cancel in advance rather than simply not show up. The goal of this policy is to improve patient access to medical care and ensure that healthcare resources are utilized effectively. We explore this phenomenon to support evidence-based decision making on this issue, and to determine whether the proposed legislation is aligned with the findings of previous studies. Main body: No-show rates vary across countries and healthcare services, with several strategies in place to mitigate the phenomenon. There are three key stakeholders involved: (1) patients, (2) medical staff, and (3) insurers/managed care organizations, each of which is affected differently by no-shows and faces a different set of incentives. The decision whether to impose financial penalties for no-shows should take a number of considerations into account, such as the fine amount, service type, the establishment of an effective fine collection system, the patient’s socioeconomic status, and the potential for exacerbating disparities in healthcare access. The limited research on the impact of fines on no-show rates has produced mixed results. Further investigation is necessary to understand the influence of fine amounts on no-show rates across various healthcare services. Additionally, it is important to evaluate the implications of this proposed legislation on patient behavior, access to healthcare, and potential disparities in access. Conclusion: It is anticipated that the proposed legislation will have minimal impact on attendance rates. To achieve meaningful change, efforts should focus on enhancing medical service availability and improving the ease with which appointments can be cancelled or alternatively substantial fines should be imposed. Further research is imperative for determining the most effective way to address the issue of patient no-show and to enhance healthcare system efficiency.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number27
JournalIsrael Journal of Health Policy Research
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 8 Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Israel National Institute for Health.

Keywords

  • Health Economics
  • Health Management
  • Health policy
  • No-show

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