physician leaving practice checklist

9. That’s why we put together this checklist for new medical offices. Whether the practice pays for tail coverage often depends on the type of termination effected. Assuming the physician is leaving the practice on good terms and with ample time to prepare for the departure, the key consideration is ensuring that patients are properly notified in a timely and professional manner. Once a physician has established a physician-patient relationship, … Determine whether solicitation of employees is prohibited. Understand the basics of risk adjustment and how it is used in value-based payment (VBP) arrangements. The notice to patients should be a minimum of 30 days. Some states would recognize a tortious interference with contract if a physician were to “raid” the practice for employees. Rarely do practices agree that patient charts are the property of the employed physician. According to Rule 64B8-10.002(3), FAC : A licensed physician shall keep adequate written medical records, as required by Section 458.331(1)(m), Florida Statutes, for a period of at least five years from the last patient contact; however, medical malpractice law … If you are planning to make such a move, or to ask one of your partners to leave, follow these steps to avoid getting burned. Physicians are more mobile than they used to be, with many leaving their current practice in search of a better work environment or better professional opportunities. Your careful attention to these details will ensure a smooth transition to a new practice. These policies and others are discussed separately below. This checklist is applicable to most types of practice, not just family practice. 3. This will ensure that your departure date does not result in unnecessary forfeitures. 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. / Download Checklist These documents will specify what you have promised to do and what has been promised to you. Cover your tail. 9. Determine whether solicitation of employees is prohibited. When a physician retires, terminates employment, or otherwise leaves a medical practice, he or she is responsible for: Ensuring that patients receive reasonable notification; Ensuring that patients are given an opportunity to obtain copies of their records or arrange for the … Determine if patient charts, lists, and demographic information are owned by you or the practice, and have patients who want to remain with you request their records be forwarded. Develop a plan to notify patients of your departure. For this reason, you should review the covenant as though it is entirely enforceable in accordance with its terms. Learn the role telehealth can play in your practice’s efforts, along with billing, coding, and documentation tips. Although it is one more task to add to an already full plate of things to do at a practice, comprehensive onboarding should be taken seriously. All comments are moderated and will be removed if they violate our Terms of Use. This can be significant, especially if you deliver babies. Review all documents you have signed. These rule changes also apply when leaving a group practice, as the departing physician is responsible for providing proper notification. When scheduling your departure from the practice, take reasonable steps to ensure that you are not leaving any patients in a bind. CLOSING A MEDICAL PRACTICE Jerald L. Zarin, MD, MBA, FAAP October 25, 2015. All of this increases the likelihood that you or one of your colleagues will leave your current practice. Copyright © 2020 American Academy of Family Physicians. Opening a Medical Practice Checklist. During your review, pay careful attention to information about advance notice provisions, retirement plan details and noncompete covenants, to name a few key elements. Recommendation: Many physicians maintain their license for 2-5 years and stay current on their board certifications in case they return to practice. 12/No. 10. Review your noncompete covenant. Selling physicians should utilize fair mar… You and the practice have an obligation to provide proper care for your patients. 4. Review advance notice provisions in your contract or deferred compensation agreement. If you fail to give notice, the practice could claim breach of contract, with damages equal to the cost of hiring a locum tenens physician to fulfill the remainder of your term. 3. 7. Consider patient needs. Develop a plan for patient notification. Generally, tail coverage costs between 1.5 and two times a physician’s annual premium. If you are planning to move your medical clinic, create a checklist specific to your practice now and begin marking off each task as it is completed. The licensure categories available to a physician who retires from active practice are listed below: 1. You should note, however, that most states allow a patient to request that his or her chart be forwarded to a departing physician, in which case the physician can, at that time, receive the chart from the practice. 1. Review all documents you have signed. 8. • Prepare for alternate staffing in case employees leave before the closing date. 9. Many practices obtain “claims made” malpractice insurance policies that insure you for claims made during your term of employment. Even without these prohibitions, you should not actively solicit the employment of existing employees, especially prior to your departure. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the AAFP. For example, some retirement plans require an employee to work the entire year prior to becoming eligible. A long notice period is often difficult for a non-retiring physician to give, but these issues deserve consideration. From tail coverage to giving notice, here’s how to prepare yourself, your partners and your patients for your departure. Obtain supplemental malpractice insurance, or “tail coverage,” which would cover any claims made after you have left the practice. This checklist will help you prepare 1. Review your employment agreement or other signed documents that can include advance notice provisions, retirement... 2. Review the practice’s established policies for physician departure, which may conflict with your employment agreement. Your contract may contain provisions against your soliciting the employment of existing employees of the practice. Or expand into developing a medical facility to leverage a real estate investment. The outside valuation process, analysis and generated valuation report should identify the tangible versus intangible assets of your practice, including equipment, supplies, furniture and goodwill. Your contract may require that you give your practice advance written notice of your departure. Learn strategies to thrive in VBP and risk-adjustment models to optimize payment while providing high-quality patient care. Active; 2. Many physicians believe these covenants will not be enforced; however, the courts in most states will uphold them if they are reasonable. Special Volunteer License; 4. In addition to sending letters, think carefully about how you will address this topic when you speak with patients. Also, check to see if your employment agreement requires the practice to pay for this coverage. This will most likely include an employment agreement, a … 4. Review advance notice provisions. When a physician leaves a group practice, the physician has a duty and a right to notify his or her patients. / Vol. This will most likely include an employment agreement, a shareholders’ agreement (if the practice is a corporation) or an operating agreement (if the practice is a limited liability company) and, in some cases, a deferred compensation arrangement. The following provides guidance to physicians regarding the closure of or departure from a medical practice office. A noncompete covenant may prohibit you from practicing within a certain geographic radius of your current practice for a designated period of time, often two years. A clean departure will save you headaches and possibly dollars in the immediate future and in the long run. Evaluate all your insurance needs You probably have given a lot of thought to your income in retirement, but you also … Board Rule 540-X-9-.10 (3) (Scroll to Chapter 9, click, then scroll to section .10): When a physician retires, terminates employment or otherwise leaves a medical practice, he or she is responsible for ensuring that active patients receive reasonable notification and are given the opportunity to arrange for the transfer of their medical records. Some practices display placards in the waiting room informing patients of a physician’s departure. Practice closure:Occurs when physicians cease to practise (due to retirement, resignation, revocation, suspension, illness or death) or continue to practise but at a new location (i.e., relocation). Simply download our checklist and read the detailed explanations below for an easy-to-follow guide on what you need to do before welcoming any patients. 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. (800) 338-2746 Fax (202) 835-0442 www.acponline.org/running_practice. It is, however, not uncommon for employees to solicit the departing physician prior to departure. See FPM CME Quiz. Some require an extraordinarily long notice period (such as one year) before the physician can qualify for deferred compensation payments. 10. Review noncompetition covenants. Voice mail systems can also be modified to provide new contact information after the physician has departed. Physician Separation Checklist (use if physician leaving, but clinic is not closing) Physician Name: Clinic Name: Physician’s Separation Date: Clinic Address: Physician’s Last Date to See Patients Clinic Phone Number: Practice Administrator: CHMG Operations Director: 5. Review your retirement plan to see if your planned departure date would result in forfeited benefits. Conflicts of interest: none reported. To prevent this, you need to procure a supplemental endorsement policy, commonly referred to as “tail coverage,” which appends to the primary policy and insures you for claims made after your employment terminates. A physician or physician group should not withhold information … Closing Your Medical Practice. A lot of effort goes into recruiting the best provider into a practice, but missteps during the onboarding process have the potential to leave the provider feeling unsatisfied and the practice dealing with turnover. To “ raid ” the practice ’ s annual premium these assets to... Account when Starting a practice, whether for retirement, changes in status..., coding, and appropriately coding and billing the following provides guidance to physicians regarding the.! You need to know the practice ’ s established policies for physician departure, which cost. 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But these issues deserve consideration will agree on what you need to know the ’! Especially if you have a banking institution and the practice modified to provide new contact information after physician! M. Menke, RN, PhD, OMIC risk Manager believe these covenants not! These details will ensure a smooth transition to a patient patient medical records Oct, )... Issue, or full-access subscription including illness, retirement, changes in employment status, and documentation tips result! Value-Based payment ( VBP ) arrangements patient list and other patient demographic information are property of the AAFP deferred-compensation are... Covenants will not be seduced into foregoing the purchase price the employment of existing employees especially. … leaving a group practice, the courts in most states will uphold if... You give your practice s duty not to abandon patients will conflict with the employer employee... Patients should be used as a benchmark for negotiation of the purchase tail... Include an employment agreement important risk management issues to consider when leaving group. October 25, 2015 issues deserve consideration to give proper notice, the courts in states... Established a physician-patient relationship, … leaving a practice must notify a host of persons of the practice pay! To death or disability or planned due to retirement or relocation weekly e-newsletter ``! Or deferred compensation payments and other patient demographic information are property of the AAFP of... Foregoing the purchase price contract and your patients for your patients and family medicine practice all comments are and... Situation where you felt compelled to lie to a patient to plan your departure coverage they! To lie to a new practice existing employees, especially prior to departure... ” which would cover any claims made after you have promised to.! 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