Cancellation policy @ chiropractic office

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Cancellation policy @ chiropractic office

Postby peace4all on Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:53 pm

For those of you that practice massage at a chiropractic office I am wondering if there is a cancellation policy in place.
The office where I practice does verbally ask people to please give 24 hr. notice if unable to keep an appointment, but it just doesn't seem to be enough for some folks.
Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.

~Albert Schweitzer
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Re: Cancellation policy @ chiropractic office

Postby JaeMarie on Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:17 pm

peace4all wrote:For those of you that practice massage at a chiropractic office I am wondering if there is a cancellation policy in place.
The office where I practice does verbally ask people to please give 24 hr. notice if unable to keep an appointment, but it just doesn't seem to be enough for some folks.


Not working for a chiro, but if it's of any help...

I work at a health club, and our policy is that if an appointment is cancelled with less than 24hrs notice, the client (unless under special circumstances, generally up to the discretion of the therapist) is charged full price for the appointment. For club members, we can charge their account but for non-members, appointments are secured with a credit card for the purpose of charging for no shows/late cancels. We REALLY try hard to get people to reschedule as opposed to taking the hit, but it does happen.
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Re: Cancellation policy @ chiropractic office

Postby athletica on Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:50 pm

JaeMarie,

If someone re-schedules with less than 24hrs they are not charged a late fee?
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Re: Cancellation policy @ chiropractic office

Postby JaeMarie on Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:20 pm

We don't.

The desk staff tries to get the person to reschedule with the same therapist at least within the same pay period, but because some people are only there a few days a week, there's a chance they could end up with another therapist if schedules don't work out. Overall it really hasn't been a problem for us. I'll lose an appointment on occasion, but eventually I'll end up with someone else's client who had to reschedule on them. That happens so infrequently though that I figure it'll balance out in the end.

When appointments are booked, there's a check list of info that the desk staff has to go over with the client. One of the things is to tell them that there's a 24hr cancellation policy. If they cancel less than 24hrs before the appointment or no-show, their account will be charged full price (or if they have a package, one of the sessions will be marked off). For non-members, they're aware that the credit card number they used to secure the appointment will be charged. No one likes to have to charge out on people, so if someone does call to cancel the desk staff will try to talk them into rescheduling instead. Usually saying "because of our 24hr cancellation policy we'll have to charge you for the appointment, so can't we get you in later in the day/tomorrow/sometime soon?" will get the person back on the schedule. If they still won't, then chances are they're getting charged for it. We don't tell people ahead of time that they can probably get away with rescheduling within the 24hr window, so by offering that it at least shows them that we're trying to work with them as opposed to just saying "screw you - I'm taking your money!" lol No-shows don't get that consideration - they just get charged.

It can suck sometimes to have that unexpected loss of a client and an empty spot, but life happens. This past Sunday we had a husband and wife book massages at the same time with another therapist and myself. The husband called about an hour and a half before the appointment to say his wife (my client) was throwing up and couldn't make it. Honestly - in that case I thought "KEEP HER HOME!" lol - I don't want a sick person coming in! I let that one slide because it actually benefited me that she not come in.

All that said, we did have a client a couple years ago book and reschedule through 3 different therapists before he no-showed. When the therapist called to see if he was running late, he said he was in a different state on business and had forgotten about the appointment. He was charged for that one, and his file marked so that he wouldn't get anymore free passes in the future.
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Re: Cancellation policy @ chiropractic office

Postby athletica on Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:36 pm

Thank you! I love the way your clinic implements this policy. We've been fortunate to have so few cancellations at our clinic, but when it happens it sucks!
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Re: Cancellation policy @ chiropractic office

Postby peace4all on Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:57 pm

Thank you. I appreciate the information. This gives me some ideas I can present to the office manager.
The day I posted this I had one no-show and one that cancelled on very short notice. With a cancellation policy in place things may have been different.

I find it so interesting. I've had people that had to cancel on short notice that would actually find someone to take their place--even paying for their massage.
Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.

~Albert Schweitzer
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Re: Cancellation policy @ chiropractic office

Postby JaeMarie on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:27 pm

I've had that on a couple occasions as well. When someone finds out that they're going to have to pay for the massage anyway, sometimes I've had spouses, family members or friends end up coming in their place.
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Re: Cancellation policy @ chiropractic office

Postby athletica on Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:18 pm

We have not followed through on our cancellation policy. It least we probably strike some fear in some patients. We also mention bring a friend in your place, that has never happened.


''We request the courtesy of 24hrs if an appointment is to be cancelled. A $35 fee will be assessed in the event that advanced cancellation is not provided. We understand that last minute changes can happen, so if you will not be able to attend your appointment, feel free to send a friend in your place''
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