In a perfect world, no one would have to cancel an appointment at the last minute. But as we know, life can sometimes be unpredictable. We get sick, our little ones get sick, the car won’t start, or we might even completely forget to attend an appointment. Life happens and cancelling an appointment at the last minute may be the only option.
Who may be charged a cancellation fee?
All Eat Speak Learn clients with a written or verbal Service Agreement for on-going services that cancel an appointment or fail to attend a scheduled appointment. This policy does not discriminate between those with an NDIS package or any other type of funding supports. More information on the NDIS rules can be found below.
What is the cancellation fee?
Our cancellation fee is 100% of the service plus any travel conducted. This is if a cancellation is made with less than one business day’s notice or if there is a failure to attend the scheduled appointment. If we can find a replacement appointment or follow up activity at short notice then you will not be charged. Cancellation terms for Group Sessions can be found in the relevant Service Agreement Terms and Conditions.
What is the cut-off for short notice cancellations?
For the avoidance of doubt, the table below highlights the time frames required to cancel an appointment and avoid a cancellation fee. Please note that our Close of Business (COB) varies across the week and can be found in our trading hours here: Contact | Eat Speak Learn | Paediatric Allied Health Services
|Day of Appointment||Cancellation Fee charged if notice is after COB on||Cancellation Fee not charged if notice is provided before COB on|
|Monday||the Thursday before the appointment||the Thursday before the appointment|
|Tuesday||the Friday before the appointment||the Friday before the appointment|
|Wednesday||the Monday before the appointment||the Monday before the appointment|
|Thursday||the Tuesday before the appointment||the Tuesday before the appointment|
|Friday||the Wednesday before the appointment||the Wednesday before the appointment|
An additional notice day will be added for any public holidays (i.e. if you need to cancel an appointment on the Tuesday following Easter Monday, then notice would need to be provided before 6pm the preceding Wednesday to avoid a cancellation fee.
What does the NDIS say about cancellations?
Fortunately, the NDIS provides clear guidance so both participants and service providers clearly understand their rights and obligations. This information can be found in the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits guide and may be updated from time to time. As of July 2022, the NDIS cancellation policy distinguishes between a Standard Cancellation and a Short Notice cancellation. When a cancellation is considered Short Notice, and certain other conditions are met, a Service Provider can claim 100% of the agreed fee for the support.
A cancellation is deemed short notice when the participant either gives less than seven (7) clear days’ notice or does not attend the support within a reasonable time. For example, if the participant arrived for their support 45 minutes late, you could consider it a short notice cancellation. Similarly, if they had a support scheduled for Thursday at 10am, and they gave notice the week before at 4pm on Thursday, it would be short notice.
However, not all Short Notice Cancellations are billable. According to the NDIA, it must meet certain criteria. The NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits guide must expressly state that short notice cancellation is permissible. The support item must be eligible for claiming for short notice cancellations, and the charges also must comply with the pricing limits. The service agreement between the participant and provider states that short notice cancellations are claimable. The provider was not able to find alternative billable work for the relevant worker and is required to pay the worker for the time that would have been spent providing the support. Short notice cancellations also apply to group supports where the provider was unable to find a replacement participant. In this case, the provider would charge all participants, both those who cancelled and those who attended, the planned rate.
The main reason the Short Notice Cancellation policy exists is to protect the provider’s income. Last minute cancellations make it difficult to schedule jobs to fill the gaps they leave in the day. This means a lost opportunity for work, which all service businesses want to avoid.
It’s important to note that there is no hard limit on the number of short notice cancellations (or no shows) for which a provider can claim in respect of a participant. However, providers have a duty of care to their participants and if a participant has an unusual number of cancellations, then the provider should seek to understand why they are occurring. The NDIA will monitor claims for cancellations and may contact providers who have a participant with an unusual number of cancellations.