\" \" Doctors often threaten to charge patients who are late or no-shows. So why do doctors get a \"free\" pass, while patients pay a penalty? First, there are patients who arrive late, but still within the acceptable 15-minute grace period. Although it varies by practice, many general practitioners schedule patients in increments of 15 or 20 minutes. Of course, just because the patients were on time, doesn't mean that there weren't complications during the visits which threw off the appointment schedule.