Closing a Medical Practice
We are so sorry to hear you are considering closing your medical practice! If you are retired, congratulations on your retirement! We value and appreciate all you have done to serve the medical community and care for your patients.
Whether you are retiring or moving on to a different career path, the process of closing a medical practice can seem incredibly daunting. There are several factors to consider, especially the well being of your patients and making sure you are being compliant with all of the appropriate regulations.
Like many physicians, if you have been in private practice for 20 plus years, you may not even know where to begin, or bear the responsibility of making sure that your patients are still cared for.
Here are some considerations to keep in mind during the process:
Your patients rely on you to ensure their health and well being is looked after. Often times, you are the first one they call in times of illness. It is vital to provide your patients with plenty of notice when closing your practice so they are able to find another physician or practitioner to take them on as patients.
Besides giving them proper notice, your patients also need to have a way to access their medical records. This will be a key element in their transferring of care.
When in the process of closing your medical practice, it is important to come up with a schedule of when you will stop accepting new patients, and possibly start restricting non-emergent appointments as much as possible.
Most likely your staff members rely on their job as their primary source of income to make a living. Taking that into consideration, it is the right thing to do to provide them with enough time to find a new position. This can however get a little tricky, as if you provide them with ample notice, they may find a new job prior to your medical practice closing, leaving you short handed or having to hire temporary employees.
Your Legal Requirements
Aside from the tasks of notifying the appropriate people and vendors of the closing of your medical practice, there are legal requirements as well. This includes notifying your state medical board, licensing board, credentialing organizations, professional membership organizations, and so on.
Another important component includes arranging for storage or the transfer of your patients medical records. Remember, it is a legal requirement to retain all patient records for 7 or 10 years, depending on commercial or non-commercial insurance.
As you can see there are several things to consider when closing a medical practice. For having as smooth of a transition as possible, consider following this helpful Closing a Medical Practice Checklist to get you started and guide you along the way.
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