ICYMI: Telehealth Increases Surgical Patient Visit Attendance Compared to In-Person Care

Oct 19, 2022

Virtual Care Reduces No-Show Probability By Nearly 80 Percent, Supporting Better Health Outcomes

In case you missed it, a recent study presented at the Scientific Forum of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress 2022 and supported by ACS and the University of Alabama Birmingham Health Services and Outcomes Research Group, found that telehealth increases the likelihood of surgical patient attendance for clinical visits compared to traditional in-person care. 

The study, which analyzed data from more than half a million visits across seven clinics at the University of Alabama Birmingham from January 2018 to December 2021, found that the no-show rate for in-person appointments, including pre- and post-operation visits, was 11.7 percent, compared to the telehealth no-show rate of just 2.5 percent. 

The study emphasized that telehealth “was effective at reducing no-show visits” and virtual care reduced the odds of a no-show visit by nearly 80 percent

On the study, lead author, Connie Shao, MD, at the University of Alabama Birmingham said, “We can help keep these patients engaged in the healthcare system without having to take up their entire day to come and see us in the hospital.” She continued, “Some care is better than no care. And it’s far better for us to get some information at a telemedicine visit to take care of our patients in a timely interval than to wait to see the patient later on when they are sicker and have to be admitted to a hospital.”

[Telehealth] is an intervention worth considering to reduce no-show visits and to improve quality care across the board,” Dr. Shao concluded. 

Millions of consumers could face a telehealth cliff if Congress does not take urgent action to safeguard access to virtual care.

Read the full study HERE.

Learn more about how Congress can act to permanently protect telehealth access HERE.


Telehealth Access for America (TAFA) is a public education campaign supported by leaders in health care committed to better care, expanded patient choice, and protecting access to critical telehealth services. Learn more and take action today at www.telehealthaccessforamerica.org.