Why Clients Miss Medical Appointments (and What You Can Do About It)

The problem of ‘no shows’ is significant because it creates gaps in treatment. This undermines the excellent work personal injury lawyers do in building cases, resulting in less-than-optimal outcomes.

With missed appointment rates in America hitting 30%, this has become a serious cause for concern. For personal injury law firms, in particular, it’s a major problem that seriously undermines their cases.

The ‘Gaps in Treatment’ Problem

Attorneys invest a lot of time and effort into building solid cases to get clients the compensation they deserve. So it’s ironic that clients often undermine their own claims by missing appointments.

This results in incomplete medical records, which insurance adjusters and defense attorneys can use to reduce settlements—or even get cases dismissed altogether.

“Just one missed appointment can be an issue,” says Dr. Survam Patel, Managing Partner of Compliant Clients. “The records show that if there are gaps in treatment, settlements are greatly reduced. In many cases, there’s no settlement at all. So PI firms must understand the reasons behind treatment gaps and take action to tackle the problem.”

Here are some of the reasons why clients may struggle to keep their medical appointments:

Forgetfulness

Research shows the main reason people miss appointments is simply that they forget. In today’s world, people have busy lives, juggling family, work, and other commitments. With other things on their mind, medical appointments can easily slip their minds.

So having a system for reminding clients can make all the difference. If their rides are scheduled for them, they are much more likely to take the appointment seriously. And if they get reminders to keep them on track, the chances of forgetfulness are eliminated.

Unreliable transportation

Many people have to share a car with other family members or rely on someone else to drive. If the vehicle or driver becomes unavailable, the client cannot get to the appointment.

Alternatively, the vehicle itself may be a problem. For example, they may drive an older car prone to breakdown, leaving them stranded en route to the appointment.

You can counter both of these problems by finding a partner to schedule rides for them. That way, they can be sure of having a reliable vehicle and driver at their disposal.

Financial hardship

An injury can render the client unable to work and earn money. This may lead to them missing appointments to conserve cash.

The best solution is simply to remove the financial problem from the equation. If you arrange transportation and pharmacy for clients on lien, they no longer have to worry about cost. They get the treatment and medications they need while you get to build solid cases.

Distance of ride

The journey to the consultation may be too long or complex to undertake comfortably. By offering rides, you can reduce friction and make clients more likely to attend.

Specialist treatment, in particular, may require the client to travel out of state. In some cases, they must fly considerable distances to get the help they need.

All of this can seem daunting unless you make arrangements to mitigate the problem. By working with a good partner, you can organize travel for them, making the trip less of a worry.

Relying on public transportation

Getting to a clinic by bus or train can be long, tiring, and unpleasant. Nobody wants to spend hours hanging around in bus terminals or train stations—or traveling in overcrowded conditions.

A medical trip that takes 20 minutes by car could easily take 2 hours plus by public transport. No wonder people are tempted to skip the appointment altogether.

If a straightforward trip in a comfortable vehicle is available, that can help significantly. Clients will look much more favorably on the prospect of a short and convenient ride.

Access issues

Some clients have special needs, such as wheelchair access, making the journey extra difficult. By making appropriate transportation arrangements, you can significantly increase their attendance rates.

This is where working with a specialist partner pays dividends. Transportation companies have a wealth of experience dealing with such situations. They understand what facilities are required and how to arrange them.

Confusion over scheduling

Some people may have every intention of attending but need help understanding the scheduling system. This is especially true if getting treatment requires traveling across time zones or where multiple appointments are needed.

Helping them with explanations and reminders will lift their compliance significantly. They need the reassurance of being able to talk to a specialist who can help them understand where they need to be (and when).

Weather issues

Many people are reluctant to drive in inclement weather, especially during winter when snow and ice add to the dangers. Driving in difficult conditions is challenging and stressful. And if their vehicle is not properly equipped or maintained, it can actually be dangerous.

They may feel much more comfortable attending if a safe ride is scheduled for them. That way, they can relax and enjoy the ride while someone else worries about driving.

Personal health issues

Injury-related or other health problems can make it hard for clients to get to appointments independently. They may need extra help, such as special vehicles, to help them travel safely.

Without extra assistance, they may be inclined to simply stay home. But if suitable arrangements are made, they will probably be delighted to attend and get the treatment they need.

Conflicting commitments

Family matters or work pressure may seem more important, often resulting in last-minute decisions to skip treatment. Clients often have no idea that skipping one medical appointment can seriously affect their case. Helping out a friend or attending a work meeting may seem more important.

This is much less likely to happen if a ride is already scheduled. And if they are in regular contact with the ride schedulers, any misunderstandings can be quickly straightened out.

A Better Solution

So there are many reasons why clients fail to get the treatment they need. But most of the issues relate to getting to and from the clinic on time.

Fortunately, there is a simple solution. You can eliminate most of the issues by working with a specialist transportation partner. This means that clients will nearly always get to appointments, cutting out those frustrating gaps in treatment.

So, where can you find a reliable transportation partner to help you? That’s where Compliant Clients comes in. We exist to get your clients to their medical appointments without fail. We’ll schedule rides, follow up, and do everything necessary to keep clients compliant.

“When personal injury attorneys start working with us, they see an immediate improvement in care plan compliance,” says Dr. Patel. “It’s like a light bulb going off in their heads. They soon realize that we reduce treatment gaps, save them money, and fee legal staff to focus on what they do best. It’s a game changer!”

Better still, getting started with Compliant Clients is easy. To find out more, contact us today and eliminate those troublesome gaps in treatment.