| February 1, 2008
You can now safely do it with Medicare patients as well.
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“Physicians should not submit claims to Medicare for no-show charges because Medicare “does not make any payments for missed appointment fees or charges imposed by physicians,” and such charges should not be billed to Medicare. However, according to the Medicare document, Medicare law and regulations “do not preclude the physician or supplier from charging the Medicare patient directly.”
Plese do let me snort into my breakfast. You can’t charge medicare, but you can charge the patient who will not pay it anyways. LOL LOL. CMS lives on the dark side of the moon of reality. Thanks for the helping hand and kick in the ass all at once. I’ve got a better idea. How about you let us charge medicare and you can tack the bill onto the patient’s premiums. Only then will these bills get paid. It will never happen. that would involve CMS getting it’s head out of it’s ass.
“Only then will these bills get paid…”
Disagree. We bust their all-to-deserving chops, sending them to collections, even firing them. Also, consider getting a credit card imprint, like at hotels.
Unfortunately, it does take some time (and thus $$$), but there definitely is a group of folks who really are almost daring you to do anything about them treating your practice like crap. Most of these fecaliths are going to leave eventually, if you run a first rate operation; you’ve earned some degree satisfaction (even if it’s largely symbolic).
Do you expect Medicare to pay when no medical care has been provided? That is taking entitlement to the extreme and as I assume you are a fellow physician is embarrassing. Imagine the scams that mills could operate then!
I have always had a no show charge policy. I don’t make money on it, but it does work in keeping the no shows down, and in weeding out the people who occasionally don’t show and really want to get care in the practice vs those who just have no respect for me or my time. The latter don’t show, I bill them, they don’t pay, and I then discharge them from the practice. Problem solved!
Being able to do this with Medicare patient addresses a hole in what I consider an essential practice management system.
Our office has a rather strict no-show policy. First no-show is $25. Second one is $50. Third one you’re outa here. Nice to know we can apply this to our Medicare patients, even though for the most part our Medicare patients are pretty reliable.
We send a letter out after the no-show, and note the account. We don’t dun them, we don’t spend money to collect.. we just don’t let them get past the front desk until it’s paid. Our office manager does a great job with this.
If they get mad at being charged, we invite them to find medical care elsewhere. Generally with this policy our no-show rates are pretty low.
I have to take issue with “anonymous”, above. It’s not CMS’s problem to run your business. CMS pays for medical care given, not lost business opportunities for doctors. Being given the green light now to bill the people who miss appointments for no good reason, and enforcing a policy for no-shows, works fine. Just have to implement it.
This rule levels the playing field, making Medicare patient have the same responsibility as our other patient – a step in the right direction.
Vincent Meyer, MD
You sure better be running on time if you are going to have a “no-show” fee. Step up the volume a bit and you will be relieved when a few patients no-show. That is what the airlines count on when they overbook and they are much more sophisticated in their scheduling than physicians. Nobody is going to pay those no-show fees anyway, and surely they should remind you of the time you had to reschedule them due to an “emergency” or you saw them 30 minutes or more later than their appointment time.
Just curious what happens when one of you doctors fails to show up for an appointment due to an “emergency?” Does the patient get to charge you a no-show fee, or is it your privilege to cancel appointments for sick people at your whim? Certainly, the suffering endured by the patients whose doctor doesn’t show will generally be greater than the other way around, so perhaps the payment should be higher as well.Ditto for doctors who overbook and keep their patients waiting for hours while walk-ins go in in front of them.
My doctor is an otherwise decent guy, and has a no-show fee, but he once canceled an appointment a few hours in advance I had been waiting months for to pick up a relative at the airport, 5 miles away, and wouldn’t reschedule me for anything less than a week’s hence. You can bet your ass if I ever have to cancel an appointment at short notice I won’t be paying that fee.
A month ago my dr. cancelled my appointment. I found out when I arrived at my appointment. The girls at the front desk swore they called to tell me over an hour ago that the doctor had an emergency, but I never got the message. I had to take an afternoon off work to go – something that is a big deal where I work.
I then missed my rescheduled appointment because I had to work. My dr. charged me $100. Should I fight it? I lost more than $100 of my time taking 2 subways and missing work just to see her. She is a good doctor, so i don’t want to loose her, but I think she may be one of those who would drop me for not paying the late fee.
I go to a relatvely large medical facility with a number of medical specialties. In the last 9 months I’ve had 5 appointments cancelled and reschedualed. I find this extremely frustrating and upsetting. The doctor does not have a medical emergency. Has anyone else experienced this? Is there anything anyone could do? I would like to hear others opinions on this matter.
Let me see if I get this straight. Patients are scheduled for an appointment. They show up. They wait. And wait. And wait. Sometimes an hour or more past their scheduled appointment time. So how about we charge the doctors when they’re late? Your time is no more important than mine. As a copywriter, my time is quite valuable.
I understand that a no show is irresponsible. A patient could at least call. But the ones of you beating on your chests need to realize that I’ll bet you’ve made a patient wait past an appointment. How about you get your acts together before running off at the mouth about inconsiderate patients?
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