According to policies listed by the American Medical Association, doctors can legally charge patients for missed appointments, but only if they follow in line with a few stipulations. Such as, patients may be charged if they fail to cancel within 24-hours of their scheduled appointment.
One of the most common reasons people miss their doctor appointment is because they don’t have a ride. We are here to make sure you never miss another doctor appointment for that reason. We offer non-emergency medical transportation services, specializing in elderly, stretcher, bariatric and wheelchair patients.
How Much Can Doctors Charge For Missed Appointments?
Not all doctors use the same system to configure charges for missed appointments. Doctors typically charge a standard rate for missed appointments, which might be in the neighborhood of $20, $40, or $70. The only way to know how much your doctor will charge you for a missed appointment is to call and ask. It’s often whatever your copay is or a certain percentage of the fee for a standard visit.
Surrounding What Circumstances Can A Doctor Charge You For A Missed Appointment?
As mentioned above, the American Medical Association does have some parameters regarding when a doctor can charge a patient for missing an appointment. Doctors have the right to charge you if you call to cancel your appointment after the 24-hour mark, or you don’t call at all and simply miss your appointment. The patient must be advised in advance that there are charges for missed appointments.
Interestingly, there is no CPT code for missed appointments. CPT stands for current procedural technology. Health insurance companies rely on CPT in order to evaluate reimbursement. Medicare allows doctor’s to charge a late fee, but they do not cover the fine. The same goes for most other insurance carriers.
Why Would My Doctor Charge Me For A Missed Appointment?
If your doctor has to cancel your appointment at the last minute, you don’t expect him/her to send you a check in the mail for any inconveniences it may cause you. This fact alone can make some people rather irritable when paying a fine for a missed appointment. If it helps make you feel any better, missed appointments negatively impact a number of people.
-Office staff must put in the work to follow up and reschedule your appointment.
-Your doctor’s office losses revenue because they don’t have enough time to fill your time slot. Every single year no-shows cost the health care industry billions of dollars.
-Patients that are on-call waiting for a chance to see the doctor just missed an opportunity to do so. If you call at least 24-hours ahead of time they have a better chance of filing that time gap with someone waiting to get an appointment.
Missed doctor appointments contribute to lost revenue, additional health issues for patients, and instability in the industry.
Always Call, They Might Waive The Fee
If you can’t make it to an appointment that is less than 24-hours away, you should still call and let them you know you are not going to make it. If nothing else, it’s a nice courtesy. By doing them a favor, you may receive a favor in return. Ask them if you will be charged a fee for missing your appointment. You can always ask them to waive or reduce the fee since you still called ahead of time as opposed to just not showing up. Some offices even offer one free pass each year, meaning your fee could be completely revoked.
Is The Charge Legally Enforceable?
A missed appointment charge is typically enforceable as long as it follows the regulations set forth by the American Medical Association. For instance, you could potentially argue against a charge on the grounds that you were never informed or signed anything stating you’d be charged for missing the appointment.
Medicare policy allows doctors to charge for missed appointments, but will not cover the charges. That means it’s up to the patient to pay. In fact, many insurance carriers will not cover fees for missed appointments.
A Study Of Missed Appointments In A Florida Public Health Department
One Florida-based study surveyed 160 people who had missed a pediatric or prenatal health department appointment. The goal was to uncover the reason why they missed the appointment.
The most common reasons people cited for missing appointments include:
-A poorly scheduled appointment
-Not having a ride to the appointment
Let Us Help You To Never Miss Another Appointment
One of the most common reasons people miss their doctor appointment is because they do not have any form of transportation to get there. You never have to miss another appointment for that reason. Stellar Transportation provides state-of-the-art non-emergency medical transportation in Melbourne and beyond. We specialize in wheelchair, elderly, stretcher and bariatric patients. Contact us today for a free quote!