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Can a doctors office legally charge a fee for canceling an appointment?
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Can a doctors office legally charge a fee for canceling an appointment?

Regardless of reason, can they legally charge you for canceling an appointment. But at the same time you can't charge them for being 15 to 20 minutes late for your appoitnment


You Know Who I Am
No. Don't pay it. I wouldn't.

Susie D

They schedule you that block of time and that is counted in their revenue -- imagine if your boss decided to "cancel" you in the middle of the day for an hour and you lost that money - you'd probably be pretty ticked.

it is rude and disrespectful to not take responsibility for your own actions. if your doctor is 15 minutes late it is generally due to an emergency walk in (which one day might be you) OR that someone had more questions or fears ( which also one day might be you).

if they have a notice on the front desk and you have been in that office before. if they told you over the phone. did you give them some notice?...like the day before? i dont think they can but im not sure. i run a housekeeping service, i dont think i can charge customers for cancelling. i can tell them there is a cancellation fee that will be charged next time i come to clean their house......they may choose to not have me to clean their house and go elsewhere. if this is a family doctor that you have been going to for awhile and want to stay i would just pay it. if not id go somewhere else. furthermore, doctors are notorious for being late or cancelling for whatever reason......even for golf. i wouldnt pay it and id find another doc.

Jenny R
Ah yes they can charge you as they could have put someone else into that time slot. Generally doctors offices will tell you upfront of these charges if you don't cancel within 24 hours. If you cancel in 24 hours they can put emergency patients that call in into that slot.
I have wondered about charging the doc for my time as well but it's not possible. What I did though was I found a new doctor who respected me and my time and I generally don't have to wait ever. So shop around.

I had one doc's office who I sat in the waiting room with my 2 1 yr olds for 3 hours with the receptoinist getting huffy with us because you can't keep 2 babies content that long. I complained about the time and she told me "Good luck finding a doctor you don't have to wait for" I left and never returned again.

They can unless you give them 24 hrs notice that you can't make it to the appointment. If it was a real emergency they could, but most would not. If they do get another doctor.

Yes. The appointments are mostly tentative and doctors have to accommodate emergencies and at times they have to have prolonged consultation necessary. Even if you are late for appointment, most doctors do try to accommodate. These are mostly human relation issues than legal.

Mullah Marmoulak Legan Besar JPA
Once you have signed the paper agreeing to the terms, you are liable for the fee. If the doctor's late? That's never happened to me in my 53 years. I have had appointments rescheduled by my neurologist because of a conference, but since it's important to my treatment I do not mind a bit.

Christopher K
Yes, because the doctor had you down for that time, and if you aren't going to be there (s)he still needs to make SOME money for that time, whereas if he/she is late it's usually because they are doing something that needs to be done for the previous patient. Due diligence, you know.

They can try to charge you a fee, but most don't actually do it. They use it to keep people from canceling appointments at the last minute and usually require 24 hours notice to cancel.

Yes they can..

Simple as that..


I've never heard of a fee for cancelling only a fee for being late. At my dentist they charge you a pound a minute you're late for and if you don't pay, they take you off their books. My doctors encourage you to cancel if you can't make it so someone else can take your appointment.

Yup. Part of their terms of service.

Yes, they can.

If you don't like it, you can find another doctor.

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