October 6, 2011
Ms. Kirschenbaum: just a quick question: if a patient does not show for an appt. can I still charge them their co-pay?
Co-pay for no-show okay? No way! But, that does not mean you can't charge a no-show fee. So, whats the difference? Isn't $20 the same as $20? No. A co-pay is a payment that a patient is responsible for that correlates to a certain reimbursable service. If no service is rendered because the patient didn't show up, how can you appropriately collect a co-pay? The answer is, you can't. However, you are entitled as a regular practice to charge patients no-show fees so long as your no-show policy is a known policy of your practice and your patients are aware they would be responsible for a no-show fee for failing to show up or cancel an appointment in a timely manner. I recommend incorporating any such policy into your privacy practices that are (or should be) distributed to patients at check-in. You may also want to promulgate your no-show charge policy at your front desk so its visible. If you elect to incorporate a no-show cancellation charge, also have patients reminded of same when appointments are initially made and on any appointment confirmation calls.
To view available policies, visit our Compliance page. To discuss your practice's policies and procedures, contact our office.
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