Missed Appointments – Billing Patients
Manitoba Health does not cover the cost of missed appointments for office visits, diagnostic services, NFA surgery, or other treatment services.
Physicians may charge patients directly for missed appointments following the requirements of the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Manitoba Standards Of Practice 4.3, which can be found on the College’s website.
According to the College, a member who charges a patient for a missed appointment must adhere to the following requirements:
- the patient must be informed in advance:
- that a charge will be made for a missed appointment and the amount of the charge; and
- as to how much notice must be given to the member to avoid a charge for the missed appointment;
- the member must have been available to the patient for the time for which the fee is charged and must not have been engaged in other billable health care at that time;
- the fee charged for missed appointment must reasonably reflect the actual costs of the missed appointment;
- the member must consider the circumstances of the missed appointment and the patient’s ability to pay and must be prepared to discuss the fee with the patient.
It is the responsibility of a consulting physician to inform a patient of charges for missed appointments with the consultant
A member may request a deposit to cover the costs of unavoidable expenses associated with the proposed visits, which a missed appointment would make impossible to recover. However, advise the patient in advance of the circumstances that will result in a forfeiture of the deposit.
Some physicians who will be seeing a patient for ongoing appointments/treatment ask their patient to sign a written agreement regarding fees for missed appointments.
Other physicians take the following steps:
- the advise their patient in writing of their policy concerning charges for missed appointments;
- they ask their patients to acknowledge in writing that they have received this advice and are agreeable to paying the amount if they miss their appointment, and
- they advise their patient that their surgery will be scheduled after they have provided this written acknowledgement.