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Dental Consultant Advice: No Show Fee?

Dental Consultant Advice: No Show Fee?

No one likes no shows or cancellations but they happen bit your scheduler nneds to know how to properly call a patient who has missed an appointment.

Done properly you can hopefully get the patient in, as well as find out what may have caused the patient to miss their appointment and remedy any internal problem that may have contributed to the patient not showing up.

Have the person with the best communication do this as you don't want to make the situation worse by having a poor communicator do the calls. This only applies to those who have not already missed three appointments (or two if they were not sorry after the second one). Those patients are either dimissed or put on a short call list only.

I don't advocate missed appointment fees but if you feel you must charge a fee, here is a fair and reasonable policy: 

a. On your New Patient Info sheet, state, "To AVOID a broken appointment charge, PLEASE let us know at least 24 hours before canceling your appointment."

b. At the first BA, indicate a BA on their ledger. Call them to find out what happened.

c. At the second BA, put a $35 BA charge on their ledger and then waive it.

d. For the third BA, put the charge on and DO NOT waive it. Let them take it from there. If they complain, you don't want them. If they pay it because they're guilty and feel bad, continue to appoint.


Kevin Tighe, Cambridge Dental Consultants, Senior Consultant, got bitten hard by the business and marketing bug during long summer days working at his dad's Madison Avenue ad agency. After joining Cambridge as a speaker in the mid-1990s, Kevin went on to become Cambridge’s senior consultant and eventually CEO. Cambridge Dental Consultants is a full-service dental practice management company offering customized dental office manuals. Frustrated? High overhead? Schedule a chat with Kevin at 

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