BLOG: How Valuable is Your Time?

How Valuable is Your Time?

How many times have you sat at your desk, watching the clock, waiting for your client to arrive? You wait… and wait…your client has not kept the appointment…again.  When is the last time you calculated lost revenue attributed to client cancellations and ‘no shows’?  Attendance can have a significant effect on your bottom line. It can result in poor client outcomes.  What can you do about excessive cancellations and ‘no shows’? After all, your time is valuable, right?

Here is what I have found to work:

There are two key factors that will assure you of an effective Attendance Policy: a clear statement of your policies in writing and consistent implementation of the policy.

There are several components that should be included in an effective Attendance Policy:

1.  Definition of a ‘No Show’ vs a ‘Late Cancellation’. What is the window of time that you allow prior to a cancellation? This can vary from practice to practice.

2.  Clear statement of your policy and the financial ramifications. Do you charge for a late cancellation? Do you charge the full amount of the session? A specific, partial fee?

3. Statement that fees incurred as a result of a late cancellation or ‘no show’ are the sole responsibility of the client/family and cannot be billed to a third party, e.g., insurance company, Medicaid, Medicare.

4. Rate of expected attendance a client is required to maintain in order to remain on your schedule. For example, you may require 80% attendance. It will be difficult to achieve individual goals if the client does not consistently attend scheduled appointments.

5. At the time of the first appointment, the client/responsible family member signs this policy acknowledging that they are aware of the policy. A signed copy of the policy is given to them. Retain the original signed copy. This can serve as a reminder later if the policy has to be enforced.

How can you further minimize cancellations and ‘no-shows?  Do you have a system to remind your clients of their appointment? You or your office staff can place a reminder call. There are many software programs on the market that will automatically place a call to your clients and/or send an email or text message as a reminder. If you have staff, it is important that they understand the policy and the reason for the policy. Train your staff on how to handle situations as they arise. Consider providing scripts for your staff to use for various situations and roleplay situations that may arise.

Of course, there are always exceptions to your policies–but they are the exception, not the rule!

Your Time is Now!  

If you need assistance moving your business to the next level or want to start a new business, I can help! 



Renee Matlock, the owner of The Private Practice Coach, shares with clients her wealth of experience, gained over 30 years of building a profitable, multi-disciplinary private practice.
Ready to take the next step toward a thriving practice?

Contact Renee today!