Missed Appointments

February 2004

Q: Can I charge a patient who does not show up for an appointment?

A: Yes, you may charge a patient for a missed appointment but only if the patient has been advised, in advance, that there would be a charge. Even if the patient has been advised, whether or not you do charge in any given situation may depend on the circumstances. Below are some factors that you may want to consider.

  • Whether this is the first time that the patient has missed an appointment or if it is part of a pattern.
  • The circumstances surrounding the missed appointment. Poor weather may make it difficult or impossible for even well-intentioned patients to attend appointments. Some illnesses (the flu, for instance) may strike suddenly.

Whether or not you were readily available for the patient to contact the office to advise of a scheduling problem.