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I have recently been having a lot of clients cancelling last minute....I am curious what other therapists do to handle this. Every time this happens, I loose money, and this get frustrating! 

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I have found the reminder calls really help!



Pete L Blanco II said:

I, like a lot of others who've already posted, have my cancellation policy clearly stated on my website and posted at the reception desk in my office.  While I don't give an annual allotment of freebies like some have suggested, I will make exceptions in cases of emergencies, but barring those I do require full payment for sessions missed or cancelled with less than 24 hours notice.  

One thing you can do (and you might already be doing) to cut down on missed appointments is to do reminder calls or emails the day before the appointment.  

A clearly stated cancellation policy in a confirmation email is a definite. I, too, usually let the first time slide....life happens. My online booking software, Full Slate, has a great way of to hold an appointment with a CC for habitual offenders.Then it becomes clear they are reserving your valuable time.

Rod Cain

it seems to be the same people always doing it too!!! egh!

THIS is EXACTLY why cancellation policies are necessary.  It's ALWAYS the same clients.

Danielle Abbott said:

it seems to be the same people always doing it too!!! egh!

I started my private practice a year ago and I have had only one cancellation. I use fullslate online scheduling system and have it set up to send my appointment cancellation/reschedule policy when they initially book online and to also give an email appointment reminder 2 days prior to their appointment and a text message reminder the day before. My policy is also posted on my website. During their initial assessment and consultation I go over it in person again. My cancellation fee is $25 that I add on their next visit as to not deter them from booking. 

Hope this helps, 

Qiana 

It sounds like our policy is the same as many others.  We require 24-hour notification for any changes or cancellation of an appointment.  We send out an email reminder to the client two days before their appointment so they can make needed changes.  That being said, life can be messy and I have had clients cancel on the same day of their appointment.  Because they are aware of the policy, they have usually said, go ahead and charge me.  Whether or not I charge them is based on their past consistency with appointments.  Is this a normal pattern for them for them to cancel last minute or is it a one time thing?  If it's an outlier, I'll give them a free pass. 

Jody and Jed, you two are great for linking to this article posted in ABMP's magazine that I was asked to write for them last year.

http://www.massageandbodyworkdigital.com/i/78617/85

So many therapists struggle with this issue, so Danielle, hope reading it helps clarify what to do.

Simply be clear with what your policies are, state them, enforce them, and when needed, waive them!
That's all.

~Irene

Irene,

Thanks. That was/is the best article on the issue of cancellations/rescheduling that I have ever read-in practice for over 23 years. Being clear is not easy for everyone.

Cheers,

jh

thanks for all the advice I have been experiencing this happening too much as well. I work at a chiropractic's office,they don't have any policy in order  for this. I am suggesting they should consider it.

does anyone out there have a policy write up that they can share with me? I also would like to know about late clients?

 

 

 

 

 

Noreen,

I worked in a DC/MD office for years and finally quit after so many patients cancelled or failed their appointments and the docs wouldn't enforce any policy at all. It is difficult with insurance cases to get reimbursed for missed appointments. Trying to chase the patient down isn't really that productive. Also, be aware that in a chiro office that if one or two patients cancel or fail, the doc still has a large amount of business. If you are stood up by two or three patients, that's a large hit to your income.  You will have to get a consensus from the DC to have a policy that you can enforce.

As far as late patients go, their appointments should be shortened or rescheduled to keep on your schedule. Simply inform them that if they come late, their time will be adjusted so as not to delay those who do show up on  time.

Please read Irene's artitcle, it has a policy that you can use. Best of luck.

jh



noreen zakrajsek said:

thanks for all the advice I have been experiencing this happening too much as well. I work at a chiropractic's office,they don't have any policy in order  for this. I am suggesting they should consider it.

does anyone out there have a policy write up that they can share with me? I also would like to know about late clients?

 

 

 

 

 

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