The Cost of Long Wait Times

The Cost of Long Wait Times

Polk & Associates CPAComplaints about waiting for hours at primary care clinics and specialists’ offices fill internet forums and Yelp reviews. The problem is getting worse. Download now to get the data.

Here’s a story that’s familiar to every patient and provider in America: a 26-year-old women in Philadelphia went to her primary care physician’s office … and waited.

“The nurse saw me to take my weight and temperature and blood pressure, but my doctor didn’t
come in until two hours after the appointment [was scheduled to start],” she says.

Complaints about waiting for hours at primary care clinics and specialists’ offi ces fi ll internet forums and Yelp reviews. The problem is getting worse: one recent survey found that wait times have increased by a whopping 30 percent in major U.S. cities since 2014. And those delays can prove costly to healthcare providers. New research from athenahealth, using data from patient surveys issued by Medstatix, ties longer wait times to a lower probability of recommending the practice to others.

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