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Developing a Patient No-show Policy For Your Practice

Developing a Patient No-show Policy For Your Practice

“No-show” patients are a part of any medical practice. Over the years, physicians and other practitioners have developed numerous policies in an attempt to prevent no-shows. Most practices institute such policies as a deterrent rather than for the purpose of actually collecting additional fees since collections efforts can be more expensive then the fees collected. Some practitioners have instituted an up-front approach, requiring patients to reserve their appointment slots with a deposit. This deposit is cashed if the patient fails to make their scheduled appointment. Regardless of the policy implemented, it is crucial that the policy is clear and uniformly applied to patients.

Any no-show policy implemented by a practitioner should be written and incorporated into a financial consent form signed by the patient so that the patient has actually agreed to the charge for purposes of collecting. According the American Medical Association (AMA)’s Position Statement on Informed Financial Consent, a medical practitioner should give the patient sufficient information regarding the likely fees charged by the practice so that the patient is able to make an informed decision prior to the provision of medical services. The financial consent should say something to …