This is the third in series of articles about changing or
terminating a practice. This article focuses on notifications to
patients when a doctor retires or goes to another practice.
When physicians leave a practice, both the practice and the doctor should make sure that certain third parties are notified in addition to notifiying patients. Vigilance in such notifications helps protect each party from liability and potential adverse consequences in the future.
NOTICES SHOULD BE IN WRITING. Be prepared to prove that you made the required communications
Parties to Notify
upon the provisions of contracts and state law, both the departing physician
and the practice may need to notify various the following third parties:
Professional liability carriers need to
know of any changes in order to ensure coverage of the care rendered in both
the prior and future practice settings. Physicians who are retiring and have a “claims made” policy should inquire about “extended reporting period endorsements” or “tail” coverage.
Medical, life and disability carriers should also be notified.
All payers should be notified of the change. This should be done as soon as possible, especially with regard to Medicare, in order to make sure that payments to the physician in the new practice.
staff committee of hospitals where the departing physician has privileges. If
he or she is on-call at the hospital, notify the emergency department as well.
State Licensing, Permits, Certifications, Registrations.
board of medicine (if required by state law). Any other federal or state licensing in held in the name of the departing physician (as opposed to the name of the practice).
Any contract held in the name of the departing physician, such as building or equipment leases.
counsel for assistance as needed in contract provisions and employment law.