What To Do With Winter Cancellations

 What To Do With Winter Cancellations

When you picture December, what do you imagine? Do you think of snow? Holiday traditions? Do you feel happier - like the holiday festivities coming up will be full of joy and excitement? Do you feel anticipation for holiday traditions? Are you excited to potentially connect with friends and family?

Or - do you picture stress? Do you think of how many gifts you’ll have to buy and wrap? Do you think of travel expenses, or how much it will cost to host your family in your home? Are you concerned about inflation, debt, or something else financially-oriented?

The reality of the holidays is that a significant number of Americans are stressed out due to financial concerns. Some of the top concerns include financial strain (with 62% sometimes worried about this), commercialism (with 53% worried about this), and the pressure of purchasing presents (with 47% worried about this). If you’re looking for advice on reducing financial strain that is not therapy-related, check out these tips.

If you’re a mental health therapist, financial strain may be even more prevalent during the holiday season. Many therapists experience a multitude of winter cancellations - that means clients canceling due to their own holiday plans. Not to mention, you’re likely taking some time off for yourself and your own traditions during the holidays!

Looking for tips on what to do with winter cancellations? Check out just three below, courtesy of the pros at Therapy Practice Solutions!

Prepare Financially in the Months Prior

You may not have done this in 2022, but make it a goal in 2023 to prepare financially ahead of time. While you’re adjusting your budget for 2023, be sure to include a fund for unexpected cancellations - essentially, giving yourself paid time off for the holidays! If you want advice on a budget for your mental health practice, check out this template. Preparing for a mass of cancellations, either from your clients or yourself, can feel easier when you’re setting aside a set amount of money weekly or monthly for your “unexpected cancellations” fund.

Check out some of these government-funded ways to obtain sick pay or PTO here!

Send Reminder Texts/Emails

Let’s face it - people tend to have a lot on their mind in December! You may find clients are forgetting their sessions as they have things to do, or are canceling at the last minute when they double-book themselves.

One way to help combat untimely cancellations is to send reminder texts or reminder emails. If you have an EHR system like SimplePractice or Theranest, you can have reminder texts and emails automatically sent out. If your EHR doesn’t automatically have this feature, check out just a few of these appointment reminder apps that are HIPAA-compliant.

Don’t Be Afraid of Your Cancellation Fee

Speaking of cancellations - you have a fee for a reason! As therapists, we have big hearts. We may find tougher aspects of running a business, like charging for cancellations, icky. However, if you’ve included your late cancellation or no show policy in your informed consent and explicitly listed a fee - which we highly recommend doing - you should feel empowered to enforce that policy. Charge for those late-cancellations and no-shows!

We hope this blog post helps you combat the financial strain from increased cancellations in the winter season! If you’re looking for someone to help you collect on balances and remind clients of their appointments, Therapy Practice Solutions is here to help. Not only can we help with clients, but we can help with social media, blog posts, website design, insurance billing, credentialing, and more! Reach out today - we look forward to hearing from you!


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