STOP same-day cancellations from hurting your bottom line

As owners and managers, we’re often pulled in many directions when it comes to running our private practices. And since margins are often low in health care, any loss of revenue can cut into our bottom line.

One of our biggest financial losses occurs when our schedules aren’t full, since our main income comes from treating our patients.

In a 2020 survey, same-day cancellations and no-shows ranked as one of the biggest buttons for the owners and managers who responded.

Believe me when I say, I get it! When I started working in our practice back in 2012, our average daily arrival rate was 75%!!

Yes, 75% arrivals meant we were losing 25% of our expected revenue on any given day. But worse, it meant that 25% of our patients weren’t arriving as scheduled for the care they needed to recover.

As a physical therapist my main purpose has always been about helping a patient achieve full recovery so they live life to its fullest potential. As a practice owner, I wasn't the only one treating patients so I needed a way to ensure that everyone on our team remained focused on the same purpose and that I provided them with the proper training to ensure they could be as successful as Mike and I were. as we stepped back and let our team take the reins. This is a common issue for owners and as they begin to step back and focus on ownership, I see how upsetting same-day cancellations and no-shows can be.

While they mess with the efficiency of your entire machine, when someone same-day cancels, they aren’t just hurting your bottom line or themselves. They’re also hurting another patient who may not have gotten in for the care that they need and deserve as well.

Lower patient arrivals means that a higher percentage of patients aren't getting the care they need and deserve!

Look. People are busy. Or at least they have the perception of ‘busy-ness’; so when you call them last minute to offer an appointment time, they’re less likely to take it. So, now you have an opening where you could have been helping someone work toward recovery.

And, if that patient who same-day canceled or no-showed also rescheduled to another day (which they should), they also take up another opening on your schedule. Basically, using two available spots for just one appointment.

This creates more work for your Patient Care Coordinators because for every same-day cancellation or no-show, they should be working your list of unscheduled or partially scheduled patients to offer them a chance to get in for care. That keeps them focused on today, and not being proactive and working on tomorrow's actions ahead of time. Hence, they feel like they're inefficient and ineffective.

For every same-day cancellation that's rescheduled for another day, that patient is taking two available spots for just one visit. And that affects your efficiency AND your bottom line.

The more efficient your practice, the larger the margin on your bottom line AND the more patients who get the care they need to reach full recovery.

If you want to make your practice more efficient, improve your bottom line, AND increase your clean arrival rate, there are several things you can do:

  • PREVENTION – you want your team to ALWAYS be about prevention of patient problems. If you want to help more people get the care they need and deserve each day, your PCCs must focus on prevention. It helps them feel more successful and you need to have a system for preventing same-day cancellations and no-shows so your PCCs have less stress and your machine becomes more efficient.

  • METRICS – as a good friend says, ‘no metrics, no discussion’. If you’re not tracking and measuring a clean arrival rate, you don’t know when the machine isn’t running at full efficiency. Make sure your team tracks clean arrival rate and schedule utilization percentages on a daily basis. If not, you’re missing vital information.

  • BUILD Patient Care Coordinators – the team members who work at your front desk aren’t receptionists or representatives. They provide a service to all patients just like your clinicians do. And they need your help. Make sure you provide the necessary training to help them overcome patient objections to care and also provide systems for success.

  • FIX YOUR FRONT DESK – fixing your front desk is NOT about fixing staff. It’s about offering training and systems that help your team achieve success. I now offer my Fix Your Front Desk Academy to help practice owners and managers by providing training and systems for their front office team members. In the academy they learn how to work as a Patient Care Coordinator, how to manage patients and handle objections. They’ll also learn my proven new patient intake system and my cancellation prevention program. Check it out HERE and provide your team with the tools they need for success. When they succeed, patients succeed and the practice’s bottom line succeeds…

Wishing you the best, today and always!


I started Front Office GURU to forward the private practice industry and ensure that practice owners had a way to expand and help their practice THRIVE, not just survive...and I've done it over and over again!

Have you liked my posts so far? Imagine having someone sharing this kind of information and MORE with you and your team every day...well, you can.

If you're looking for someone to walk your team along the path that the patient takes through care and how to best manage that patient to ensure they achieve recovery, schedule a Discovery Call to learn more about my one0-on-one Basic PCC Coaching Program.

Since I started Front Office GURU in 2016, my #1 goal was that ALL private practices have access to my training and systems; but I recognize that private training and coaching isn't within everyone's budget. So, I decided it was time that I created an affordable online platform that would benefit all private practices and their Patient Care Coordinators.

In 2020, I finished my newest and most affordable training option - Fix Your Front Desk Academy. I designed the academy to help private practice owners and managers provide proven and effective training and systems for their Patient Care Coordinators.

Fix Your Front Desk Online Academy offers you:

  • 3 progressive course levels to progressively train your Patient Care Coordinators in proven patient management techniques.

  • Your purchase includes access for the owner / manager plus 5 team members.

  • Need to add more licenses as you expand? No worries, you can purchase additional licenses as you expand.

  • What if someone leaves? You can delete their access and assign it to a new team member!

  • Are you an enterprise or large group? We offer enterprise options for practices with more than 5 team members to train.

  • You also have life-long access to your purchase.

  • This training focuses mainly on managing patients in a PT, OT, ST, or chiropractic practice (but it can be applied across most medical and veterinary practices).

My online academy provides over 95 video lessons and practical questions, scripts, audios, and so much more! The training will guide your Patient Care Coordinators along the path a patient takes through care and provide clear instruction in patient management, objection handling, and building effective relationships to keep the patient on the path to recovery. I've also provided all the digital files they'll need for fast implementation of proven systems that increase their overall success.

Don't wait, get started today and give your Patient Care Coordinators the tools they'll need to fix your front desk systems.

CLICK HERE to learn more and start your team on the path to success!!!