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Adding and managing appointments

Adding and managing appointments

When you sign in to your SimplePractice account, you’ll be taken to your calendar, where you can view and manage appointments for your practice. In this guide, we'll cover:

Note: To learn how to manage your calendar as part of a group practice, see Using your calendar in a group practice.


Scheduling a new client appointment

To create a new appointment:

  • Navigate to the Calendar
  • Click + > Schedule appointment

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Tip: You can also click anywhere on the calendar to create an appointment.

  • On the New Appointment flyout, select an existing client from the dropdown menu or click + New Client to create a new client

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  • Set the date, time, and duration of the appointment

Note: You also have the option to create an All day client appointment by checking the All day box. To learn more, see Creating a calendar event.

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Note: Appointments will affect your availability for online appointment requests for that day. For more information, see Managing your Availability.


Creating a recurring appointment series

You can create a recurring appointment series that repeats on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis. To do this:

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  • Choose how often and when the appointment repeats, and when the recurring series will end
    • A series can end after a certain number of appointments occur or on a certain date

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  • Click Done

Note: You can create a recurring appointment series with up to 100 events.


Editing an appointment

To edit existing appointments:

  • Navigate to the Calendar
  • Select the appointment you need to edit

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  • Edit the appointment details, as needed
  • Click Done

If the appointment is part of a recurring series, you’ll be asked if you want the changes to apply to just the one appointment or to all appointments in the series. Select your preference and click Move to finish making changes to the appointment(s).

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Note: If you edit the fee for an appointment that already has an invoice attached to it, a new invoice is needed to update your client's balance. You can manually create a new invoice for this appointment, or have it automatically created as a fee adjustment invoice if you have automatic invoicing enabled.

If the appointment is locked, you won’t be able to edit the appointment details. An appointment is considered locked if there's a superbill attached, or if there’s a locked and signed progress note.

To unlock and edit a locked appointment:

  • Navigate to the Calendar
  • Determine whether the appointment has documentation associated with it
    • If the appointment has a superbill attached, you can delete the billing document by opening it and clicking the trash can icon
    • If the appointment has a locked progress note, you can unlock the note by clicking Unlock

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  • Edit the appointment, as needed

After unlocking and editing the appointment, you can lock it again by recreating any deleted billing documents. For detailed instructions on this process, see Creating superbills. Additionally, if you unlocked a progress note, you can re-lock and sign it again.

Note: To learn more about locking and unlocking progress notes, see Using progress and psychotherapy notes.


Reflecting client information changes on future appointments

When a client's billing or insurance information changes, there are some details you can update in the information in the client's Billing and Insurance tab that will automatically apply to the client's future appointments. This includes updates to the client’s:

  • Billing Type
  • Copay

Note: For more information about editing client billing information, see Billing and Insurance.

Updates to a client’s default services will not apply to future appointments. These appointments would need to be recreated or updated to the correct service. For more information, see Editing an appointment above.

Note: To learn how to make billing-related changes for past client appointments, see Appointment level billing changes.


Deleting an appointment

Important: When deleting a recurring series, selecting All of the series, including past appointments will delete all past appointments without an attached progress note or invoice. Attached claims will be retained, but all other details will be removed. Once you delete an appointment, this action can’t be undone.

To delete an appointment:

  • Navigate to the Calendar
  • Select the appointment
  • Click the trash can icon

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  • Select Delete Appointment to confirm

Note: There isn't a way to delete appointments for multiple clients at once. Each appointment will need to be deleted individually from the appointment flyout.

If the appointment is locked, you won’t be able to edit the appointment details. An appointment is considered locked if there's a superbill attached, or if there’s a locked and signed progress note. For steps on how to handle these documents, see Editing an appointment.

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Important: This modal will link to documents that you have access to. If you don’t have access, this modal will let you know which team members do have access to the documents in question.

The access to view and delete the document(s) associated with an appointment is dependent on your team member permissions. If you don’t have the ability to delete an appointment, the trash icon won’t display on the appointment.

Prior to deleting documents, we recommend that you reach out to the client’s clinician(s), the Account Owner, or a clinician with entire practice access to review the documentation attached to the appointment. If the documentation is removed, and your permissions allow it, you can then delete the appointment.

Note: For more information on team member permissions, see Team member roles and access levels.


Creating a calendar event

Creating a calendar event lets you block off time on your calendar that isn't associated with a specific client, such as for a personal meeting or a dentist appointment. 

Note: If you’re on the Essential or Starter plan, you can set up a calendar event to indicate that you’re out of office. If you’re on the Plus plan, see Managing out of office blocks below.

To create a calendar event:

  • Navigate to your Calendar
  • Click + > Schedule appointment
  • Select Event

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  • Edit the title, date, time, duration, and location of the appointment, as needed
    • Check the box for All day if the event will span the entire day
  • Click Done

After creating a calendar event, it’ll be displayed as a gray event to clearly differentiate it from your client appointments.

If you have a regular meeting each week and want to prevent clients from scheduling appointments at that time, you can also create a recurring calendar event series. To do this:

  • Navigate to your Calendar
  • Click + > Schedule appointment
  • Select Event
  • Edit the title, date, time, duration, and location of the appointment, as needed
  • Check the box for Recurring

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  • Select how often and when the appointment repeats, and when the recurring series will end
  • Click Done

A calendar event will block off your Availability for that event’s duration, regardless of any Availability you have set up for the day.

An All day calendar event will appear at the top of the day(s) as a gray bar.

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Note: If you’re part of a group practice, calendar events will be visible to all team members in your SimplePractice account. Visibility to these appointments aren’t restricted by any access level. To learn more, see Using your calendar in a group practice.


Managing out of office blocks

If you’re going to be unavailable and out of office, you can indicate that with an out of office (OOO) block on your calendar. That way, clients won’t be able to schedule appointments with you at that time.

Note: OOO blocks are only available on the Plus plan. If you’re on the Essential or Starter plan, you can add a calendar event to indicate that you’re out of office.

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To do this: 

  • Click + > Schedule appointment from the top of the page
  • Choose Out of office

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  • Select the day and time frame in which you’ll be out of office
    • Check the box for All day if you’ll be out for the entire day
      • You can choose multiple days where you’re out all day
  • Use the dropdown menu to select yourself or a team member that will be out of office

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Note: Only the Account Owner, clinician with entire practice access, clinician with full client access, or a practice scheduler can set up OOO blocks for other team members.

  • If you want appointments canceled during the time selected, leave the box for Cancel appointments during this time checked
  • If you want to notify clients and contacts that their appointments have been canceled, leave the box for Notify clients and contacts of cancellation checked
  • Click Done

Your OOO block will show as gray on the calendar.

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When Cancel appointments during this time is checked, appointments marked as Show during the OOO block will update to Clinician canceled. If the OOO block is deleted, appointments will continue to appear with this status.

Note: To update each appointment to the correct status, see Changing an appointment’s status.

If the box for Cancel appointments during this time is unchecked, appointments will retain their current status. 

When Notify clients and contacts of cancellation is checked, clients and contacts that have cancellation appointment reminders enabled will receive a notification of the cancellation. Clients and contacts that don’t have these reminders enabled won’t receive this.

Once an OOO block is set up with this option checked, a small green banner will appear to show that the cancellation messages have been sent.

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If client(s) under the OOO block don’t have cancellation reminders enabled, you’ll see a window displaying these client(s)’ names.

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While OOO blocks are viewable to all team members, they’ll have different permissions for OOO blocks depending on their roles:

Roles Permissions
  • Account Owner
  • Clinician with entire practice access
  • Clinician with full client access
  • Practice scheduler
  • Can view, edit, and delete OOO blocks for all team members
  • Can click on an OOO block for more details
  • Can create OOO blocks for other team members
  • Practice manager
  • Practice biller
  • Supervisor
  • Can view OOO blocks for all team members
  • Can click on an OOO block for more details
  • Clinician with billing access
  • Clinician with basic access
  • Can view OOO blocks for all team members 

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