Health & Safety

January 14, 2016
 

‘No-shows’ affect mission, everyone

by Senior Airman DEVANTE WILLIAMS
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 56th Medical Group provides medical care to more than 90,000 members (active-duty, retirees and their families) in the immediate area. Some people miss scheduled appointments and don’t think it affects anyone, but it takes a huge chunk of resources from MDG.

Patients who fail to show up for their medical appointments cost real time and money and prevent other patients from securing the appointments they need.

“The cost of an appointment on the medical side is about $400,” said Annissa Chavez, 56th MDG group practice manager.

That can add up. For units in the MDG, it can cost more than just money.

“We had 6,346 no-shows in fiscal 2015 costing up to $2.5 million in wasted resources,” Chavez said. “When people don’t show up for their appointments, all the resources and materials go to waste.”

Often, when there are no appointments available, a beneficiary with an urgent medical issue is forced to seek care off base, causing them to take more time away from their unit and impacting patient-provider continuity.

“We had to send about 5,600 patients off-base this year due to lack of appointment availability,” Chavez said. “Having to send patients off-base cost MDG approximately $1 million in purchased-care cost. The more no-shows we have, the more resources we lose.”

The MDG provides an environment in which Airmen can receive quality care and assistance from doctors who know what the Airmen are going through.

“Our goal is to ensure Airmen on base are ready for deployment,” said Master Sgt. Netha Manby, 56th Dental Squadron Clinical Flight chief.  “No one knows our patients better than we do. The relationship we have with the Airmen is strong, and we want to keep it that way.”

To keep Airmen mission-ready and other beneficiaries healthy, the 56th MDG has implemented a two-hour cancellation policy for all medical appointments. By cancelling your appointment at least two hours in advance, medical units are able to provide needed healthcare to other beneficiaries by rebooking the vacated slot. In addition, with cancelling appointments ahead of time, the resources can be saved and put to use for another patient.

To reschedule or cancel an appointment, call 623-856-CARE (2273), including during nonduty hours.




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