of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
                   serving the Coachella Valley since 2001.
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For the Clinician

This page was created for you to provide your peers with ideas and suggestions that will help other Members in their work.  The limit for a submission is 1200 words.  To submit an article, email to DesertCAMFTWebChair@gmail.com

Tired of NO SHOWS and not getting paid for your time?  Try this:  Add a Cancellation Policy to your Informed Consent and Agreement form that states that you have a 24 or 48 (or your choice) hour cancellation policy.  If a client cancels within 24 or 48 hours of their appointment, inform the client that you will charge them for the missed appointment because it was not cancelled per your policy.  You maintain discretion for charging (I don't charge for getting sick or a car break-down or an emergency) but those are very rare.  I do charge for late cancellations, at the full rate for the client.

Even if they have insurance, you need to inform them that you will charge for the missed session and that their insurance will not reimburse them for a missed session. 

In your agreement, also allow space for the client to enter their 16 digit credit card number along with its expiration date and the full Name on the credit card.  If the agreement was filled out before your first session, check that the credit card information is there.  It is often forgotten!  And, obtain the credit card information even if your client pays with check or cash.  (By the way, it's smart to verify the credit card information provided by the client before you have to use it.)

Remember to verbally inform your new client about your cancellation policy and your fee in your first conversation on the phone and, again, in the first session, when you talk about your Informed Consent and Agreement form.  Both on the phone and in the first session, remind the client that you will charge for missed appointments, and, if appropriate, that their insurance will not over the missed session.  Make sure you document all of this in your notes.  [Hope this helps]

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