Friday, July 03, 2009

Should patients be charged for not showing up?

Interesting video I saw on CNN today. Should doctors be charging patients who do not show up? Unfair as this might sound, our clinic has started doing it, and I have to say I think it's reasonable (though we first make patients aware of this, and let them off the first time with a warning. And we charge only a nominal fee).
The truth is, time is time. And if a patient schedules a 30 min slot on my calendar, he deprives another patient from seeing me sooner (as it is some patients already need to wait a month to see me). Sad to say, but the truth is, time is money too, and you can't expect to run a self-sustaining clinic if patients don't show up.
And boy, do some patients do that. I've had patients schedule appointment after appointment, and finally, after 3 or 4 no-shows, I've had to refuse to let them reschedule. It's a clear sign, that some of them simply have no respect for your time.


Blogger pilocarpine said...

if there's valid reason for not showing up?

3:18 AM  
Blogger vagus said...

all they need to do is to call and let us know they're not showing up, so if they're able to do that, even an hour before the appt, we'll usually forgo things. Sometimes if they have a good reason, we sometimes forgo the charge too. but there's never a good reason to miss 3 appointments!

9:10 AM  
Blogger pavlova said...

some of the surgeries i know here charge $30 per appointment-miss.

i think that's fair.

the three-strikes-you-are-out policy should also apply. if they can't respect your surgery's time, then they can walk.

4:36 PM  
Blogger PaulOS said...

Was thinking of doing the same thing.. but funnily.. it can turn on itself.. like shooting urself in the foot. :P

What if they go to another place.. .. talking from a business perspective..

4:23 AM  

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