New Late Cancellation/No Show Fee

Best answers
My company wants to introduce a new late cancellation/no show fee (going up to $75 from $50) for the new year. What's the best way to track/handle/introduce this? Just consent forms at the front desk? We are a physical therapy practice seeing around 600 appointments a week.

Pam Brooks

True Blue
Local Chapter Officer
NAB Member
South Berwick, ME
Best answers
If no-shows and cancellations are a problem, rather than charge the patients, you may want to take a look at whether you have a good process for confirming appointments and/or utilizing your patient wait list. I've found that no show and cancellation fees, although they seem like a good idea, do little more than make your patients angry. They're more likely to abandon treatment than they are to pay you. Are you really going to take the time to chase that sort of AR? There are all kinds of e-reminder programs out there that might improve your patient compliance rate without having to charge them for missing an appointment.
If you do decide to move forward with a no show fee, you would be better off to notify all your patients (by letter) in advance, so that they at least have a heads up that you're implementing a new process. And moving forward, your no-show/payment policy would absolutely need to be included in your patient's informed consent.
Of course, nobody thinks that the rules apply to them, so be prepared for phone calls when they get the bills. Good luck.