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Canceling a doctor appt. without being charged


Kassia
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Is it 24 hours or just the day before?  For example, if I have an appt. on Thursday at 2pm, do I have to cancel by Wed. at 2pm or is end of Wednesday office hours okay?  

 

I'm asking because I have a new patient appointment on Thursday with an endocrinologist who is an hour away.  I had some lab work drawn last week, which was supposed to include T3, T4, and cortisol, but I found out today that the lab didn't see those orders when I went in and they only did lipid panel and glucose.  So, I'm going in now to have the tests done again but won't get the results until tomorrow.  If everything is normal I would most likely cancel the appt. since I really don't want to go but I won't know the results until it's less than 24 hours until my appt.  DH says I should just cancel and make a new appointment but things will be so busy soon with the holidays plus I worry about road conditions once we get into winter.  

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Ours is 24 hours because it allows the nurses to call in someone on the waitlist. The clinic we usually go to has appointments from 7:30am to 6pm so calling in at 5pm for a 8am appointment doesn’t give the admin/front desk much time to call someone else who would appreciate that slot.

Quoted from the clinic webpage

If you are unable to keep your appointment, please notify the office at least 24 hours before the appointment time to re-schedule and to allow other patients to use the time. After hours, you will be transferred to our "cancellation line" to leave a message.”

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I would call and ask.  If they have partial results, and since you are a new patient, they may want to see you anyway. Or it may be that without those results, the visit is pointless and if you are there, they may have you reschedule anyway.  It really depends on the practice, what the appointment is for, etc.

 

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Most of the practices I deal with ask for 24 hours though a few expect 48. However, I've never had an issue when something unavoidable comes up and it's past the required notification time. In this case I'd call. Or, if they have an online presence they might list their cancellation policy on their website. If that's the case you wouldn't have to talk to someone about it if you don't want to.

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Thank you!  I really don't want to go and was only planning on keeping the appt. if any of the results came back abnormal.  It's a long drive, I don't know the doctor, I don't even know if there's a problem, I've had enough with medical stuff for the year, we're supposed to have heavy rain that day...  I can't believe the lab messed up and didn't pull up all the orders when they did the first draw!  

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28 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

I have never been charged for a cancelled appointment, even at places that say they charge.  But, most of the time, I don't cancel and if I do, it's a very good reason.  

I’ve never actually been charged either, but if you are thinking of cancelling, call as soon as you know. That gives the office the chance to shift staff around as needed or even to fit someone else in that may be waiting for a cancellation. 

I did have to cancel an appointment recently. I had the kids all loaded up in the car ready to go when I realized I had lost my keys!  I had dropped them at a park the day before and because I had ridden with my husband didn’t even know they were missing until I needed them again. I fully expected to have to pay for that appointment but was never charged. 

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38 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

I have never been charged for a cancelled appointment, even at places that say they charge.  But, most of the time, I don't cancel and if I do, it's a very good reason.  

 

DH on the other hand, got charged something like $70 for a no show, on an appointment he cancelled a WEEK prior to the appointment, because a receptionist forgot to actually cancel it when he called (he had to cancel because work sent him out of the country.)  He fought with the office a few times, but we ended up just paying it because we got tired of arguing with them.  

Ds once missed his psychiatrist appointment for his ADHD meds and was charged $50. I get that their policy is to charge for no shows but the irony is that it was a domino effect of his ADHD - didn't put the appt. on the family calendar, didn't check to see when it was though he knew his meds were getting low, didn't tell dh or me the date so we could help him keep up. AND - he sees this doc for his ADHD, a condition that was THE CAUSE of his missed appointment. Also it was the first time in almost three years of seeing this doc that he missed an appt. Yeah, I was annoyed. 

My dh would have just paid the $70 after a half-hearted try at arguing with them. I OTOH, would have fought it - not so much for the money as for the principal. Dh is better at picking his battles than I am. I'll sometimes fight for a tiny hill when I should just let it go. 

Edited by Lady Florida.
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5 minutes ago, Lady Florida. said:

Ds once missed his psychiatrist appointment for his ADHD meds and was charged $50. I get that their policy is to charge for no shows but the irony is that it was a domino effect of his ADHD - didn't put the appt. on the family calendar, didn't check to see when it was though he knew his meds were getting low, didn't tell dh or me the date so we could help him keep up. AND - he sees this doc for his ADHD, a condition that was THE CAUSE of his missed appointment. Also it was the first time in almost three years of seeing this doc that he missed an appt. Yeah, I was annoyed. 

My dh would have just paid the $70 after a half-hearted try at arguing with them. I OTOH, would have fought it - not so much for the money as for the principal. Dh is better at picking his battles than I am. I'll sometimes fight for a tiny hill when I should just let it go. 

My ADHD kid has missed 3 appointments for this reason. The first two he was not charged. At the third, he was. Actually, that time, I picked up the phone when the doc called to see where he was (my kid still uses the landline number for doctors, drives me crazy) and I asked the doc to charge him. He said he had to, since it had been the third time. I figured, maybe that will be the thing that will prompt him to use the tools we have so painstakingly gone over with him...  lol.  We'll see.  

I think you kid's doc should have given him some graze for the first time... or two.  

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4 hours ago, marbel said:

I would call and ask.  If they have partial results, and since you are a new patient, they may want to see you anyway. Or it may be that without those results, the visit is pointless and if you are there, they may have you reschedule anyway.  It really depends on the practice, what the appointment is for, etc.

 

This is a good point, and maybe a good compromise; if you call now, explain about the lab mix-up, reschedule....then you can call and cancel if the results come back normal, and be well within the cancellation period. Most places don't charge for a reschedule the way they do for a cancellation, at least not the ones I've dealt with.

IOW, reschedule now, cancel that rescheduled appt if all the lab results come back good and you don't need to go after all. 

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3 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

Did they have to redraw the blood for the lab or did they just use the blood they already have? (I'd make sure the lab doesn't charge you for a second draw since it was their mistake.)

I have no ideas on the appt itself.

 

They had to redraw and I'm sure the insurance will be charged again.  I've never heard of a lab completely missing an order like this!  

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