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Part B News Quotes Paul Werner on Patient No-Show Fees

Part B News quoted firm member Paul D. Werner in the article “Are no-shows fees legal? Yes, in most cases, but you still may want to avoid.” The article, published in the June 17 issue, discusses the usage of no-show fees by practices and whether charging patients for not showing up for a scheduled appointment is appropriate.

While some practices may use such charges as a deterrent to prevent patients from missing appointments, the article questions whether it is wise for practices to try and collect the money from patients who refuse to pay it.

Werner, who regularly represents physicians and other healthcare providers in civil litigation, criminal investigations and prosecutions, told Part B News that he always advises clients not to try to collect as there is a chance the patient will complain.

“If the patient complains, first, everything that you’ve done with and for that patient is now fair game. If the licensing board comes in and has questions about what you did or whether you missed something in your documentation or whatever it is, you’ve bought all these problems on yourself for that cancellation fee.”

Werner continued, “And let’s say the patient gets an EOB from their insurance company and it says they owe $400 and then they get a bill from you that says $450 [with the no-show fee]. Maybe they’ll call the insurance company and say, ‘hey, why did my doctor bill me $450 when you said I only owe $400?’ Then the insurance company starts investigating the claims as well.”

Werner said that ultimately, cancellations aren’t a big enough deal to be worth the risk. 

“Given patient wait times reported at many physicians’ offices, the cancellation probably works to everybody’s benefit.”

The full article can be read at Part B News (subscription required).

  • Posted on: Jul 2 2024