There is no doubt about it; having no-shows on your schedule is lost revenue for your nurse practitioner business.

Some practices will charge a no-show fee, but others don't, or they feel it is impossible to collect on them. And with some insurers, you are prohibited by contract to charge your patient (DSHS for example).

Regardless of your office policy, minimizing or even eliminating "no-shows" on your schedule will increase your revenues.

Here are some things you can do today to reduce “No Shows”:


  1. Double Book: Some practices will double or even triple book slots where they have patients who chronically no-show. While it's an option, it can also create a bit of chaos and back log when all of your patients do show up.

  2. Same Day Appointments: Consider offering your chronic no show patients same day appointments only.

  3. Walk-In: Another option, especially for the no-show patients is to offer drop in hours. You may actually find this to be a popular time in your office, and not just for those that are unable to keep to a schedule.

  4. Reminders: You can call patients to remind them of their frustrated appointments, or if your EMR has this feature, email them. More offices are moving to services that can text your patients their reminders as well. There are services that can automate reminder calls as well, but most people prefer and respond better to a human being.

  5. When someone no shows, call them back to reschedule.

  6. Some practices bill the patient for no-show or even late fees.

  7. Alternatively, you can offer a discount for showing up on time.

  8. Before patients leave, make sure to write down their next appointment on a card. Make sure they can read it. Either hand print or consider printing a label with appointment date and time.

  9. Remind patients to call 48 hours (or whatever your policy is) ahead of time to waiting their appointment if necessary so we can schedule someone else who is waiting.

  10. And as always, make sure your patient contact data is up to date. Check with them at every contact.

Do you have other tips for nurse practictioners who run a business? Share them in the comments.