24-hour notice is required for all cancellations. I charge a lower-than-industry-average fee of $50.00 for all late-cancels and no-shows. Waivers of this fee are exceedingly rare and at full discretion of the therapist. I do provide one “freebie.” Your first event of a late-cancel or no-show will not incur the fee, and I will try but don’t promise to remind you that all future occurrences will be billed.
The $50 fee will be charged within 24 hours (typically) of the missed appointment, and billed to your on-file credit card. If that card declines for any reason, an additional $50 will be added to the fee to cover any associated decline fees and administrative time of managing the failed payment. Future sessions, including those already scheduled, will not be permitted until your account balance including these and other charges have been paid in full.
Background (read if desired): By law and insurance rules, we as therapists are not allowed to charge your insurance for sessions you do NOT attend. We cannot charge you your copay/coinsurance, either. We do not receive any income for any minutes or hours that are not in direct service to a client. Therefore, if you don’t give us adequate time to fill your scheduled session slot, we have no way of being paid for our time. Let’s say I have 5 clients who late-cancel or no-show this week, whose contracted insurance payment rate is $100. That is income I budgeted to receive, and I was in the office available to provide the service as scheduled. But now I just lost $500 of income, with no way to recoup it other than to charge a cancel fee. Please note that there is an average of 20-25% late-cancel/no-show rate in this industry. Could you afford to randomly lose 20-25% of your income each month? Sadly, neither can we. Or, imagine you’re at work and business is really slow for about 5 hours this week, so your boss just doesn’t pay you at all for those 5 hours. This is the reason that most providers, clinics, agencies, etc charge these fees.
Furthermore, it has been studied and proven that a documented cancel fee policy greatly reduces the frequency and likelihood of no-shows and late-cancels, which helps both the client and the provider. It is also reasonable in terms of respecting your provider’s professional time and availability. Keep in mind that if you no-show, your provider was still there, waiting for you. We want to see you and help you, and look forward to you attending your scheduled visits!