Tracking Failed and Cancelled Appointments

You know how disruptive and costly it is when patients fail to show up for dental appointments and you are left with big holes in your schedule. It’s equally frustrating when patients cancel without giving appropriate notice. How widespread is the problem in your practice and are the trends getting better or worse? Now you have a tool for tracking this unfortunate statistic.

Cancel Appointment

The CDT codes contain D9986 for missed appointments and D9987 for cancelled appointments that you can use whenever the situation arises. Then at the end of each month you can run reports that show how frequently the codes were used, and that will help you see how big of a problem you have in your practice.

In addition, tracking the data will help you spot trends. Maybe the broken appointments are explainable and due to cold and flu season, which you have no control over, or maybe the trends indicate you are making it too easy for patients to break an appointment—which means you have some work to do to retrain your patient base.

Tracking Trends

Your practice software may also allow you to run custom reports showing which patients had D9986 or D9987 coded to their account during a given time period. How many repeat offenders do you have? Are you allowing problematic patients back in your schedule just so they can fail or cancel another appointment?

Since you want to minimize broken appointments, start tracking when those situations occur and the data will help you make informed decisions about the appropriate course of action to take. Be sure your team knows about codes D9986 and D9987.

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