How frustrating is it when you don’t get paid on time?
And then there is the awkwardness of following up to ask for payments to be made!
So what ways could protect yourself from not being paid?
The first would be to take payment upfront prior to the appointment. That way you have already received the payment and therefore never have worry about money, however, you may have to reschedule their appointment if there are valid reasons for them not attending.
Secondly, you could take a non-refundable deposit. Again it helps with cash flow, but it needs to be super clear to the patient in your terms and conditions.
Thirdly, you could sell a package which allows you to have received the payment for a full package of appointments, therefore you may have some flexibility for rescheduling or one missed appointment may not be detrimental to the patients progress.
Another way of protecting against missed appointments is having good lines of professional communication - this may be through emailing prior to the appointment as a reminder, or an automated text message to their phone.
Some marketers report that a text message is typically opened within 10 seconds, rather than emails that can make their way into the junk folder and never be opened.
A word of caution…
If you charge for missed appointments then it may be damaging for your brand or may lose a patient who would have returned to you throughout their life.
Being lenient and understanding of a patients circumstances around non-attendance, in my experience, has been more beneficial than charging for the missed appointment.
How else have you ensured that patients attend their appointments?
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