Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

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DaftInvestor
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Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:42 pm

Teenage daughter had an appointment to go see a medical specialist. There was a snow-storm and she is nervous driving in the snow (and my theory is "why risk it") so she canceled the appointment. Specialist is now assessing an $85 cancellation fee because there wasn't enough advance notice of the cancellation (she canceled in the morning when schools started canceling and local news stated road were "bad"). The office notified my daughter that a bill was coming for the cancellation via a voice-mail. The roads were bad - although it wasn't a "state of emergency".
I am requesting the specialists "Cancellation Policy" in writing (Guessing that my daughter signed up for it when she started seeing this specialist) but in the meantime I checked with several of the specialists I have gone to and:
1) Most have written policies but exclude weather or illness related cancellation.
2) Many have a "you will be on the notice" policy the first time you cancel. No charge first time - just a warning.
3) The fee of other specialists is $40 or $50 - $85 seems VERY excessive. This is a day's salary to a minimum wage worker. (My daughter's part time job is minimum wage so she knows how much money this is to her).

With a family of 4 - we have had to cancel appointments for one reason or another occasionally in the past - have NEVER been assessed a fee.
My plan will likely to be to pay the bill (I won't make my daughter pay it) but attach a written complaint (provided that the bill is in line with some type of written policy the specialist has) and then perhaps leave some online reviews warning others that this particular specialist takes a hardline with cancellations. An $85 cancellation fee assessed against a teenage driver that stated she was canceling due to the snow storm who has never canceled an appointment in past just seems ridiculous to me.
What would you do?

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Pajamas
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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by Pajamas » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:50 pm

I would probably call and explain the situation and ask for a waiver of the fee for this first incident and get detailed information about their policies. If an office is not over-scheduling patients so that they inevitably have to wait for more than thirty minutes to see the doctor, a fee for not cancelling an appointment seems reasonable as it encourages people to cancel so that other patients can be seen instead.

A time slot in a doctor's office is no different than a seat on an airplane or a hotel room, of significant value right up until the minute it is unused and then it becomes worthless.

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WoodSpinner
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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by WoodSpinner » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:54 pm

OP,

Seems like a reasonable position. I might start with a call to their admin/billing head and explain as nicely as possible what has happened. Not sure if that has already been done or not.

Good luck...

WoodSpinner

athan
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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by athan » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:56 pm

I would explain the situation to the financial coordinator, and if the charge isn't forgiven I would ask to speak with the doctor. If they are not willing to forgive this fee, I would find another specialist. It is not worth getting worked up over until after you contact the office. Most doctors have policies like this to prevent patients from continuously cancelling last minute. This is a special circumstance due to weather, and the email is probably sent to all last minute cancellations.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:59 pm

Thanks Pajamas and WoodSpinner and athan - I probably should have a chat with them myself first.
I COMPLETELY understand the need for the policy - time is money for all of us. This one just seems a bit unfair to me.

If they stick to the fee we will either end up never going to this specialist again - or - as soon as we understand the policy we will adjust accordingly:
"Hello - I would like to cancel my appointment 3 days from now as there is a 20% chance of snow that day and I don't want to risk another cancellation fee which will happen if I wait and see if the storm really hits".
Last edited by DaftInvestor on Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Benton Bair
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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by Benton Bair » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:00 pm

WoodSpinner wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:54 pm
OP,

Seems like a reasonable position. I might start with a call to their admin/billing head and explain as nicely as possible what has happened. Not sure if that has already been done or not.

Good luck...

WoodSpinner
+1 Good idea. Being nice works more often than not.

brennok
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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by brennok » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:39 pm

What is your specialist copay? Many offices here base the fee off that. With rising copays the NOS/DNKA fee has been an on the rise especially with providers who book weeks out.

Also yes definitely call, most waive the first, but some only do it if you ask since many times they mention it at the time of scheduling,

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Artful Dodger
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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by Artful Dodger » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:04 pm

Have had this happen in the past. Also with my daughter :oops: The dentist and medical doc. Both times I called their office and politely asked if they could waive the charge. Both times they agreed.

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ram
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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by ram » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:18 pm

I am a specialist practicing in Wisconsin. 5 to 8 inches of snow is predicted on Monday. I expect many cancellations. We have as yet not instituted a last minute cancellation fee. My dentist charges a $25 no show/ <24 hr cancellation policy.

Talking with the office manager is reasonable. Please avoid talking with the doctor if he is an employed physician of a large organization. He did not set the policy and has no control over it.

I assume that a practice that has such a fee has more than enough patients waiting to get in. Make sure that your daughter has other options before deciding not to ever go there again. My best guess is politely asking for a waiver is likely to be successful.
Ram

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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by White Coat Investor » Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:50 am

Never hurts to ask, but there's a reason those fees are in place and even if you pay the fee, the doc/office probably still lost money on that time slot. I'm glad I work some place that doesn't have appointments. Actually, we do, but it's just a marketing scheme since we pretty much never have a wait anyway.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by mwm158 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:13 am

.....
Last edited by mwm158 on Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cutterinnj
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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by cutterinnj » Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:22 am

DaftInvestor wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:42 pm
Teenage daughter had an appointment to go see a medical specialist. There was a snow-storm and she is nervous driving in the snow (and my theory is "why risk it") so she canceled the appointment. Specialist is now assessing an $85 cancellation fee because there wasn't enough advance notice of the cancellation (she canceled in the morning when schools started canceling and local news stated road were "bad"). The office notified my daughter that a bill was coming for the cancellation via a voice-mail. The roads were bad - although it wasn't a "state of emergency".
I am requesting the specialists "Cancellation Policy" in writing (Guessing that my daughter signed up for it when she started seeing this specialist) but in the meantime I checked with several of the specialists I have gone to and:
1) Most have written policies but exclude weather or illness related cancellation.
2) Many have a "you will be on the notice" policy the first time you cancel. No charge first time - just a warning.
3) The fee of other specialists is $40 or $50 - $85 seems VERY excessive. This is a day's salary to a minimum wage worker. (My daughter's part time job is minimum wage so she knows how much money this is to her).

With a family of 4 - we have had to cancel appointments for one reason or another occasionally in the past - have NEVER been assessed a fee.
My plan will likely to be to pay the bill (I won't make my daughter pay it) but attach a written complaint (provided that the bill is in line with some type of written policy the specialist has) and then perhaps leave some online reviews warning others that this particular specialist takes a hardline with cancellations. An $85 cancellation fee assessed against a teenage driver that stated she was canceling due to the snow storm who has never canceled an appointment in past just seems ridiculous to me.
What would you do?
I am a specialist and I charge a $100 no show fee.
That said, it rarely gets charged- it is to encourage patients to show up and be responsible. Anyone who calls to cancel is exempt.

We had a snow storm a few weeks ago. We closed for a day. The following day we were open but the roads were still bad. No one was charged a no show fee on that day regardless of whether they called to cancel

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by DaftInvestor » Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:45 am

brennok wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:39 pm
What is your specialist copay?
Copay is $20 while fee was $85.
Every policy I reveiewed says nothing about it being based on copay (e.g. everyone "would" be charged the same regardless of their insurance cooay).

Thanks for all the replies.
This specialist could lose $1000s from us for this $85 assessment if we switch doctors - seems pennywise and pound foolish as the saying goes. Perhaps they have enough customers that they don't care.

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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by jtopicz1 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:23 am

I have three problems with these fee's (my wife is employed by a large medical facility, and some of the things I hear, really irritate me...):

1) Doctor gets the flu on Monday morning. Office staff has to cancel all patients appointments for that day with little / no notice. Those patients have taken time of work, paid for childcare, etc. Too bad for them. Do that to the doctor - FEE for you!

2) Doctor charges "late for appointment fee." The fee itself is TOTALLY valid and understandable, in my opinion. Same doctor routinely overbooks schedule and runs an hour or more late. Patient can't charge the doctor a fee, but basically has to pay a fee themselves, by additional time off work and other incurred expenses for a one hour appointment turning into 2+ hours.

3) Patient wakes up morning of appointment with the flu. Can't cancel appointment due to cancellation "fee." So patient comes to appointment, spreading illness to doctor, office staff, and other patients.

My two cents. I'm sure doctors on here will disagree, but that's my opinion.

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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by toofache32 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:14 pm

athan wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:56 pm
I would explain the situation to the financial coordinator, and if the charge isn't forgiven I would ask to speak with the doctor. If they are not willing to forgive this fee, I would find another specialist. It is not worth getting worked up over until after you contact the office. Most doctors have policies like this to prevent patients from continuously cancelling last minute. This is a special circumstance due to weather, and the email is probably sent to all last minute cancellations.

What makes everyone think "the doctor" has any control over this???
Do you complaint to the airline pilot about your checked baggage fees?

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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by brennok » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:53 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:45 am
brennok wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:39 pm
What is your specialist copay?
Copay is $20 while fee was $85.
Every policy I reveiewed says nothing about it being based on copay (e.g. everyone "would" be charged the same regardless of their insurance cooay).

Thanks for all the replies.
This specialist could lose $1000s from us for this $85 assessment if we switch doctors - seems pennywise and pound foolish as the saying goes. Perhaps they have enough customers that they don't care.
Must say I haven’t seen a specialist copay that low in 10 years here in Florida. Even primary care here is as high as $65 now. It isn’t that they base it on your specific copay, but tends to be based on the copay most pay for specialists.

They also may have lost a patient who they would have seen that day. I know when I am looking to make an appointment with a specialist I usually have a couple options so I go with who can get me in first if it is something I don’t want to put off.
toofache32 wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:14 pm
What makes everyone think "the doctor" has any control over this???
Do you complaint to the airline pilot about your checked baggage fees?
Because around here they do. Even if the doctor doesn’t own their practice they still have a say in the charges.

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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by toofache32 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:07 pm

brennok wrote:
Because around here they do. Even if the doctor doesn’t own their practice they still have a say in the charges.
Around here it's the opposite. Nationwide most doctors now are employees just like the front desk staff. The Docs have a clipboard nurse following them around to make sure they don't spend to much time with each patient.
I'm not sure why they would give the front desk staff or the doctor a say in corporate finances.

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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by brennok » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:15 pm

toofache32 wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:07 pm
brennok wrote:
Because around here they do. Even if the doctor doesn’t own their practice they still have a say in the charges.
Around here it's the opposite. Nationwide most doctors now are employees just like the front desk staff. The Docs have a clipboard nurse following them around to make sure they don't spend to much time with each patient.
I'm not sure why they would give the front desk staff or the doctor a say in corporate finances.
Even as employees they usually have a say like I said. It is no different than a service manager having a say if you have a problem with service on your vehicle. They may not dictate the labor per hour or what things cost, but in the end if you have a problem they do have the ability to address it.

Several doctors I know have been bought up over the years and the only change was the company now owned the practice and handled the external billing. The front office and doctors still had a say in things like missed appointments.

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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by Shallowpockets » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:54 am

Those who advocate that a MD or Dentist's time is valuable and they should assess a cancel charge should consider wjy the same does not apply to restaurant reservations, car rental, hotel reservations, hair appts, oil changes.
Isn't time valuable to every one.
The failure of the above to be on time to accept you when you are there and have to wait should be perhaps a credit to your account in a similar fashion.

There should be a social responsibility, both sides. Unless it is a regular repeated occurrence, perhaps we should lighten up.

toofache32
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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by toofache32 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:18 pm

Shallowpockets wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:54 am
Those who advocate that a MD or Dentist's time is valuable and they should assess a cancel charge should consider wjy the same does not apply to restaurant reservations, car rental, hotel reservations, hair appts, oil changes.
Isn't time valuable to every one.
The failure of the above to be on time to accept you when you are there and have to wait should be perhaps a credit to your account in a similar fashion.

There should be a social responsibility, both sides. Unless it is a regular repeated occurrence, perhaps we should lighten up.
Most offices have this fee penalty, but rarely use them. I have this fee in my office although it is usually waived. I use it to get rid of patients I don't want to put up with. It's easier and cleaner to have them get mad and leave on their own, instead of dismissing them from the practice.

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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by letsgobobby » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:23 pm

This is the routine practice in my field:

24 or 48 hours notice required (varies from office to office)

full cash fee for the visit is expected otherwise and charged accordingly - which may be $300 or more per visit (even if you would normally use insurance, since we cannot bill insurance if you don’t show up)

no exceptions

Now this can occur in my field because more than 1/3 of psychiatrists do not take insurance of any kind.

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munemaker
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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by munemaker » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:31 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:42 pm
...she canceled the appointment. ... The office notified my daughter that a bill was coming for the cancellation via a voice-mail.
Did she cancel by talking to a live person? If so, I wonder why they wouldn't have mentioned the fee when she cancelled?

My dentist just started a no-show fee this year. Too many customers blowing her off with no notice.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:54 pm

Shallowpockets wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:54 am
Those who advocate that a MD or Dentist's time is valuable and they should assess a cancel charge should consider wjy the same does not apply to restaurant reservations, car rental, hotel reservations, hair appts, oil changes.
Isn't time valuable to every one.
The failure of the above to be on time to accept you when you are there and have to wait should be perhaps a credit to your account in a similar fashion.

There should be a social responsibility, both sides. Unless it is a regular repeated occurrence, perhaps we should lighten up.
I have never ran across a "cancelled appointment" charge, thus far. OTOH, it is a very rare event if I need to reschedule an appointment.

Though, I certainly advocate the use of the tool if it helps the physician be more efficient.

Frankly, my time is not as valuable as the doctor's, being retired. A couple of weeks ago we waited two hours past our appointment time. I know from experience that when I am seen, the doctor will not rush thru my appointment. His office is jammed with people waiting to see him, and I'm very willing to wait to see him. We go back almost twenty years, and I have complete confidence in his ability to address my medical needs. In short, my access to him is far more important to me than the time I have to wait. My observation of his packed waiting room tells me other patients must feel the same way.

I do understand that many people might have to leave work, perhaps forego compensation; their decision on who to see must be based on their circumstances, as mine are clearly different.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by HueyLD » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:04 pm

I have absolutely no problems with professionals imposing no show fees. Having been on the receiving end for no shows, late shows, etc. without legitimate reasons/excuses really opened my eyes.

In my experience, the client should call the office asking for forebearance of fees if the client has a legitimate excuse. I think terrible road condition may qualify as one.
Last edited by HueyLD on Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

letsgobobby
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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by letsgobobby » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:09 pm

Shallowpockets wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:54 am
Those who advocate that a MD or Dentist's time is valuable and they should assess a cancel charge should consider wjy the same does not apply to restaurant reservations, car rental, hotel reservations, hair appts, oil changes.
Isn't time valuable to every one.
Upscale restaurants do take a credit card in advance and do charge a cancelation fee.
Hotels do charge the first night if you don’t cancel with, typically, 24 hour notice
The failure of the above to be on time to accept you when you are there and have to wait should be perhaps a credit to your account in a similar fashion.
I agree this is a problem in many physician offices, but is not related to the issue of no shows/late cancelations.
There should be a social responsibility, both sides. Unless it is a regular repeated occurrence, perhaps we should lighten up.
In my office (a mental health clinic with no Medicaid patients), a 10% no show rate is considered very good. In the past, without a no show policy, our no show rate was as high as 25%. In Medicaid clinics where I have worked it is as high as 50%. Think about the impact of all those no shows - sure, on the physician’s time and income - but more importantly, think about all those other patients who were not seen during those time slots that needed services. In a world in which it can take weeks or even months to get into a physician’s office, high rates of no shows are not socially responsible to other patients with a greater commitment to attend.

In my specialty, the usual policy is no exceptions, just to make it easy to understand. The supply/demand imbalance in my field makes that possible. It is also considered consistent with the long cultural history of psychoanalysis, in which you agreed to show up every day at 9 am or 2 pmm, regardless; and in which no shows and late arrivals would be explored psychoanalytically.

We do not have a policy like this in my clinic, in part because I am part of a community operation and not a private practice. I extend exceptions regularly.

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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by Erwin007 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:16 pm

I agree with speaking to the practice manager about this, rather than the doctor, who likely has no input on this as has been mentioned above. You should get the time of the phone call made by your daughter (should be in the call log on her phone), the time of her appointment and what time the announcements were made about cancelling school. I would think with that information you would be fine.

I am a physician and work in a health system that does not impose a no show or late cancellation fee, but i wish that they did. I understand that things happen from time to time and a patient can’t make their scheduled appointment. But to deter no shows in cases without a good reason a nominal no show or late cancellation fee is appropriate. Last year I generated about 2.3 work units per patient appointment (wRVUs). That works out to about $190 reimbursement that I am out on just because a patient couldn’t be bothered to get out of bed or leave what they were doing to come to an appointment.

And unlike some of the industries that shallowpockets mentioned, physician offices don’t have a bunch of standby people waiting to get in where that loss can be made up.
Last edited by Erwin007 on Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by Erwin007 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:27 pm

Shallowpockets wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:54 am
Those who advocate that a MD or Dentist's time is valuable and they should assess a cancel charge should consider wjy the same does not apply to restaurant reservations, car rental, hotel reservations, hair appts, oil changes.
Isn't time valuable to every one.
The failure of the above to be on time to accept you when you are there and have to wait should be perhaps a credit to your account in a similar fashion.

There should be a social responsibility, both sides. Unless it is a regular repeated occurrence, perhaps we should lighten up.
Many of these are terrible examples. Restaurant reservations and oil changes may have lines of people waiting to be seated/serviced so that the missed reservation won’t result in loss of revenue. If I have a patient call to cancel their appointment 10 minutes before their time I can’t ever fill that or get that lost revenue back. A restaurant where reservations are needed would have a lobby full of people waiting to be seated.

I am probably the exception, but my clinic runs pretty close to on time most of the time. I purposefully schedule fewer appointments in a day so that I can make this work. The two causes for why I might be running behind are 1) patients showing up late but still needing the same amount of time (I would say this accounts for 90% of my delays). This happens often. A post op patient shows up 10 minutes late to their appointment but still needs to have their sutures removed and get X-rays. It will be after their appointment slot is ended before I am even seeing them, so how am I supposed to stay on time? And this adds up over the day. Or what about the new patient that doesn’t show up the 15 minutes before their appointment time to fill out paperwork and get their insurance and demographic info put into the system? They need to have their health history, meds, surgeries, allergies, etc put into the computer and then I still need to see them. Even if they show up “on time” I am already behind. 2) A patient with a very complicated problem who needs more evaluation or more time spent discussing options and outcomes than a more straightforward case. The third situation is when I am on call and have had a true emergency arise that required my attention elsewhere—the ER or hospital for example. In that case I inform my staff to call and alert patients that I may be late and give them the option to reschedule.

I can see how if you haven’t been on the other side of these issues you wouldn’t have a clue as to how things can work, but hopefully this helps.

Also, a comparison of a physician to a hair dresser or oil change place or hotel is offensive. Perhaps you didn’t mean it that way, but the tone of your post suggests otherwise.

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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by Katietsu » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:07 pm

No cancellation fee at local medical center. About 10% of people do not show for their specialist appointment. About half do not even call day off to cancel. When the no show is the last of the day, staff waits around a half hour in case the person is just late. A few patients will no show 3 or 4 times before then showing up. Given that most departments have a 4 month wait for new patient visits, I think most employees would be OK with anyone who does not want to come back.

That said, I do hope that the OP gets the fee waived since this was a safety/weather concern.

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ram
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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by ram » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:13 pm

A practice manager sees the issue as follows:
-Patients seen in a half day = 10.
-No show rate =10% (1 out of 10).

Options to recoup the lost revenue from the no show:
1) No show fee.
2) Charge 11% more to the 9 patients that show up. (Increase the base rate)
3) Book 11 patients in a half day. Some patients that show up on time will have to wait.

Each practice determines its best option and each member reading this thread can have his own opinion.
Ram

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Alexa9
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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by Alexa9 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:26 pm

A snowstorm is a legitimate excuse especially if they closed schools.
They should be understanding or I would not pay the fee and write a nasty review and report them to BBB.

That said, if you live in a snowy area, I think you should have a vehicle capable of getting you around.
If the doctor and staff can get there then you can too.

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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by Leif » Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:03 pm

My wife was planning to transfer to a new doctor. The initial paperwork they have you sign had a long list of fees that can apply for what you would think is standard services. In any case, we informed the receptionist that all these terms were not acceptable to us. We left and found another doctor. My wife is very happy with this new doctor.
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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by SpringMan » Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:36 pm

I had an appointment with my primary care doctor and found out at the last minute my wife had accidentally taken off with my car keys as well as her own. I called his office, explained the situation and rescheduled. There was no charge even though there is a sign displayed in his office about fees for no shows. It may be because I have been a long term patient of his, over 20 years.
Best Wishes, SpringMan

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JPH
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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by JPH » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:10 pm

As others have said, the small fee really does not compensate the office for lost income. The major purpose is to regulate people by using the fee as a threat or as a punishment. If I break a law I expect to pay a fine. If I'm merely inconsiderate I do not expect pay a fee to be taught a lesson. And what about all the times m provider has cancelled an appointment or made me wait for over an hour? It should work both ways. I'm feeling grouchy today.
While the moments do summersaults into eternity | Cling to their coattails and beg them to stay - Townes Van Zandt

Erwin007
Posts: 233
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:29 am
Location: Intermountain West

Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by Erwin007 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:14 pm

JPH wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:10 pm
As others have said, the small fee really does not compensate the office for lost income. The major purpose is to regulate people by using the fee as a threat or as a punishment. If I break a law I expect to pay a fine. If I'm merely inconsiderate I do not expect pay a fee to be taught a lesson. And what about all the times m provider has cancelled an appointment or made me wait for over an hour? It should work both ways. I'm feeling grouchy today.
It’s not trying to teach you a lesson. Its making sure that a spot that has been held and reserved for you doesn’t go unused. Health care and appointment slots are finite resources.

Sounds like you need to look for a new doctor if you have had so many inconveniences. There must be something redeeming about your provider or you wouldn’t keep going back.

sailaway
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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by sailaway » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:26 pm

SpringMan wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:36 pm
I had an appointment with my primary care doctor and found out at the last minute my wife had accidentally taken off with my car keys as well as her own. I called his office, explained the situation and rescheduled. There was no charge even though there is a sign displayed in his office about fees for no shows. It may be because I have been a long term patient of his, over 20 years.
It is quite common for a reschedule to be handled differently than a cancelation.

JBTX
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Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by JBTX » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:27 pm

9 Times out of 10 a simple phone call and explaining the situation will resolve the situation.

sport
Posts: 7046
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Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Medical Appointment Cancellation Policies/Fees

Post by sport » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:58 pm

Erwin007 wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:27 pm
Or what about the new patient that doesn’t show up the 15 minutes before their appointment time to fill out paperwork and get their insurance and demographic info put into the system? They need to have their health history, meds, surgeries, allergies, etc put into the computer and then I still need to see them. Even if they show up “on time” I am already behind.
Erwin,
I would suggest that you schedule appointments for new patients 15 minutes before you actually plan to see them. Then they can be "on time" and still not disrupt your work schedule.

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