As with any business, if we are not working treating patients, we are losing money. Failed appointments, and short notice cancellations cost us money because we are unable to offer that time to another patient. If we have to raise our fees to offset the cost of missed appointments, our responsible patients pay the price for the irresponsible ones and we don’t think that’s fair. We want to keep our fees as low as possible for our patients by working efficiently and trusting them to keep their scheduled appointments.
In an effort to more effectively keep our schedule full and your fees down, we are making some changes to our “Appointment Policy”.
- Instead of our making multiple calls in attempts to confirm appointments (often without response to the messages left) we will be limiting our courtesy reminder calls to one per appointment. We will call or e-mail you (your preference) in the morning, two days prior to your appointment, asking for a response from you by 4 p.m. the next day. This means we need your help. Please provide us with your best daytime contact number/e-mail address. We have an answering machine on which you may leave a message at any time if you cannot call during business hours. If we have not heard from you by 4 p.m. the day before your appointment, we will offer that time to another patient and you will need to reschedule your appointment. By limiting the amount of time spent on calls we can more effectively & efficiently carry out our other business duties without hiring additional staff which would raise costs that would be passed on to you. If you are a patient who does not require a courtesy reminder, please ask Sharon to mark your appointment “confirmed” the day you make it. This will hold that time for you without risk of it being reassigned to another patient, while saving us the time of a call or e-mail.
- We will charge a fee of $25 for failed appointments or cancellations with less than 24 hours notice. While we understand you might feel you are being “charged for nothing”, please understand that every lost appointment costs us much more than $25. Failed appointments mean NO income but we still pay staff salaries, utilities, etc for that time.
- Patients who fail to come for confirmed appointments or cancel without 24 hours notice, on 3 appointments in a 6 month period may be asked to find another dental office for their treatment.
It is our goal to keep our schedule full and your costs down. We thank you for understanding that we have your interests as well as ours at heart. When we schedule your appointments, we look forward to seeing YOU. If something comes up requiring you to cancel an appointment, we respectfully ask for advance notice so we have time to fill that appointment with other patients’ treatment.