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Keywords:

  • service operations;
  • appointment scheduling;
  • overbooking

The problem of no-shows (patients who do not arrive for scheduled appointments) is particularly significant for health care clinics, with reported no-show rates varying widely from 3% to 80%. No-shows reduce revenues and provider productivity, increase costs, and limit patient access by reducing effective clinic capacity. In this article, we construct a flexible appointment scheduling model to mitigate the detrimental effects of patient no-shows, and develop a fast and effective solution procedure that constructs near-optimal overbooked appointment schedules that balance the benefits of serving additional patients with the potential costs of patient waiting and clinic overtime. Computational results demonstrate the efficacy of our model and solution procedure, and connect our work to prior research in health care appointment scheduling.