Nevada Revised Statues (NRS) 630.304 states, The following acts, among others, constitute grounds for initiating disciplinary action or denying licensure: (7) Terminating the medical care of a patient without adequate notice or without making other arrangements for the continued care of the patient. If you are responsible for tail coverage, you may be able to negotiate with your new practice to provide you with sufficient funds to purchase it. The notice may be given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the area in which the health care facility is located. Texas Medical Board. Weve compiled a resource to compare guidelines for every US state. However, it at least informs the patients that the provider is not responsible for their further care. The sign shall be placed at least 30 days prior to the termination, sale or relocation of the practice and shall remain until the date of termination, sale or relocation. 1. According toRule 64B8-10.002(3), FAC : A licensed physician shall keep adequate written medical records, as required by Section458.331(1)(m), Florida Statutes, for a period of at least five years from the last patient contact; however, medical malpractice law requires records to be kept for at least seven years. We are looking for outstanding providers with leadership experience, who are committed to delivering high quality and compassionate patient care, to join our team. When Would My Healthcare Practice Use a Promissory Note? Determine whether solicitation of employees is prohibited. Mustafa Kinaan has shown his dedication to the Central Florida community throughout his graduate medical education (GME) journey. 1997) supports this understanding. A physician must give notice to patients of his or her leaving or closing a practice, otherwise face a possible claim of patient abandonment. Doing so could subject the provider to claims of abandonment by the patient. 1. The following are best practices for notifying patients: Send current patients (i.e. If you mail notification letters to every patient and half return as undeliverable, can you feel confident that you provided reasonable notification? document.getElementById( "ak_js_1" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() ); What kind of notification should or do I have to give to patients if I am retiring, Hospitals are often growing, acquiring new facilities and systems to expand their reach and services. However, the information provided does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for informational purposes only. Contrary to common conception, the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act(HIPAA) and similar state laws do not entitle providers to access or copies of their employers patient information and records. If possible, consider posting your retirement in your local newspaper(s) as well as on your website and/or social media pages (if applicable). There is no specific time period required. Notification can be accomplished by a sign in the reception area, a note in the monthly billing statement, or an advertisement in a local newspaper. Continued, https://www.msbml.ms.gov/sites/default/files/Policies/3-22-19Policies.pdf, Missouri Med. Leaving a group practice. Except in cases of death or other incapacity of the practitioner, practitioners may not abandon a patient or abruptly withdraw from the care of a patient. Your contract may require that you give your practice advance written notice of your departure. How does the estate of a deceased or incapacitated physician provide 30-day notice? Clearly, a provider is not susceptible to an allegation of patient abandonment each time arelationship with a patient terminates. We can help you assess your rights and responsibilities. Normal workplace stresses are exacerbated by longer hours, less pay and zero tolerance for error, which can lead to fractured relationships among partners or employed physicians in a group practice. It must protect the patients medical record and not release it without patient authorization. What can I tell my patients when Im leaving my employer? If the restrictive covenant specifically prohibits the physician from treating patients he saw while employed with his former employer, there is case law that indicates a physician may not be able to treat the patient regardless of who establishes first contact. We understand the process can feel daunting. It may also resolve the issue in advance by including a provision in the physicians written employment or other affiliation agreement that specifies the details of the notice that the health care entity will send in the event of the physicians departure. The agreement provided that for 12 months following termination of employment, the urologist would not engage in the practice of medicine within a 50-mile radius of the employer. (C) Notifying patients seen in the last two years of the physician's discontinuance of practice BY EITHER: (B) Placing written notice in the physician's office; AND As we were assembling the resources for this document, we were amazed at the level of vague, incomplete, and even inaccurate material on the internet regarding notification requirements for closing medical practices. All Rights Reserved. If youre in one of the states where we practice, schedule a complimentary phone consultation with one of Jackson LLPs healthcare attorneys. If you would like to learn how Lexology can drive your content marketing strategy forward, please email [emailprotected]. the state Medical Association or Board) has guidelines available. Can I take a copy of my patients records with me, in case they need care from me in the future. URMC responded by sending breach notification letters to the affected patients and notifying the media. Confidentiality clauses usually define patient information and records generated during the providers employment as the practices property. Accessed January 18, 2023. At the same time, physicians are in high demand and have tremendous professional opportunities, ranging from starting a new practice to joining an existing one. The key is to prevent patients from falling through the cracks because of tensions between the physician and the practice. Contact information that enables the patient to obtaininformation on the patient's medical records. Make sure that if there are legal guidelines in you state, that you review them. A 24-year-old pregnant woman came to her ob-gyn with a headache and high blood pressure. Thus, regardless of who is responsible for procuring tail coverage, that party should provide a certificate of insurance to the other party. In addition to sending letters, think carefully about how you will address this topic when you speak with patients. The notice must include an explanation of how copies of the facilitys records may be accessed by patients. Notify patients in writing, through a letter carefully crafted with input from practice colleagues or the employing . URMC began receiving calls from patients who were upset that their confidential medical information had been disclosed without their permission. Notify Third Parties Dependent upon the provisions of contracts and state law, the insured physician and practice may need to notify various third parties. . Such property is confidential and, therefore, not to be used or disclosed following termination of the providers employment. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. 2) The state offers guidelines, but without any statutory requirements or law enforcing notification practices. The KBHA serves as a great resource to physicians. Texas Medical Board Rules Chapter 165.5(c)(1-2) Prohibition Against Interference. The physician may, but is not required to, place a sign in a conspicuous location on the faade of the physicians office or notify patients by letter, of the termination, sale or relocation of the practice. Copyright 2023 American Academy of Family Physicians. Anyone looking for information on this topic should be aware of the risk in assuming a simple internet search will provide clear and accurate information. Its an important aspect of , At Cariend, we understand the challenges faced by healthcare facilities in transition. For instance, providers who staff emergency departments, hospitalist programs, and urgent care centers render care that is episodic in nature. In fact, you must notify them- you can't just leave and let them find out you're no longer their provider. Whether the practice pays for tail coverage often depends on the type of termination effected. At our healthcare law firm, our clients frequently voice concerns over the non-solicitation provision in their employment agreements. 4. Review advance notice provisions. Notifying Patients of Practice Closure When closing a practice, you should send a notification letter to the patients you have seen in your practice within the last three years. The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) recently agreed to pay a $15,000 penalty for providing patient names, addresses, and diagnoses to a departing nurse practitioner (NP) without first obtaining authorization from those patients. This means that if a malpractice event occurs during your employment but the claim is not filed until after you have left the practice, the malpractice insurer will not cover that claim because it was not made during your term of employment. The settlement arose from events in the spring of 2015. Dont risk falling short on your notification message which can result in charges of abandonment. Examples include social media pages, website banners, email, or even utilizing the practices existing patientportal. Section 456.057, Florida Statutes, sets forth the requirements that must be followed when a physician retires, closes his office or relocates his practice. Employment contracts usually reinforce this notion. Ensuring that patients receive reasonable notification; Ensuring that patients are given an opportunity to obtain copies of their records or arrange for the transfer of their medical records to another physician; Specifying who has custodianship of the records; and, Advising how copies of the medical records may be obtained.. Your contract may contain provisions against your soliciting the employment of existing employees of the practice. Proactive , American Medical Association (AMA) guidelines, https://www.cms.org/uploads/BME_Policy_40-8.pdf, https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-K5DhxXxJZbZGZUdllNbUFvdDg/view, https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/ethics#Chapter%201:%20Opinions%20on%20Patient-Physician%20Relationships, https://cdn.ymaws.com/lsms.site-ym.com/resource/resmgr/resources/lsms_resource_closingamedica.pdf, http://www.lsbme.la.gov/content/health-care-resources-practitioner, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6140270/, https://www.msma.org/guide-to-closing-a-medical-practice.html, https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/bme/Pages/FAQ.aspx, http://220.127.116.11/parts/title16/16.010.0017.html, http://www.nmms.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/closing_your_practice_2016_revised_-_pcs_0.pdf, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=22&pt=9&ch=190&rl=8, https://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=6676, State offers no guidance, but association guidelines available. The court, however, disagreed. Contact information for providers remaining in practice, Necessary information regarding access to medication, How medical records will be stored and how they may be accessed, Contact information for the records custodian, Expected timeline for transitioning the records, Date records will become available and how long they will be available for request. 7. For assistance, members of The Doctors Company can contact a patient safety risk manager at (800) 421-2368 or by email. This notice shall be no less than two columns wide and no less than two inches in height. A physician shall provide a patient written notice of the termination of the physician-patient relationship. Unprofessional conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following: (17) Abandoning a patient. How long must a healthcare practitioner maintain a patients records? https://www.health.ny.gov/facilities/adult_care/dear_administrator_letters/acf_closure_guidelines.htm, The North Carolina Medical Society advises, practitioners and other parties that may be involved to ensure that: patients are notified of changes in the practice, sufficiently far in advance (at least 30 days) to allow other medical care to be secured, which is often done by newspaper advertisement and by letters to patients currently under care (Sample letter Attachment A); patients clearly understand that the choice of a health care provider is the patients; patients are told how to reach any practitioner(s) remaining in practice, and when specifically requested, are told how to contact departing practitioners; and patients are told how to obtain copies of or transfer their medical records., https://www.ncmedsoc.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Closing-a-Medical-Practice.pdf, Rule 4731-27-03 states, When () a health care entity provides to patients a notice of the termination of a physicians employment, the notice shall be provided in one of the following ways: (1) A letter sent via regular mail to the last address for the patient on record, with the date of mailing of the letter documented; (2) An electronic message sent via a HIPAA compliant electronic medical record system or HIPAA compliant electronic health record system that provides a means of electronic communication between the health care entity and the patient and is capable of sending the patient a notification that a message has been received and is in the patients portal., https://codes.ohio.gov/ohio-administrative-code/rule-4731-27-03, State advises, Whenever a physician is leaving or has left practice and the actual office is being closed, several different methods of patient notification can be used.