A physician may terminate care to a patient for several reasons. The most common reason is when the physician feels that the patient is no longer benefiting from their care. Other reasons may include the patient not following the physician’s recommendations, the patient being abusive towards the physician or staff, or the patient repeatedly missing appointments.
When a patient fails to pay, fails to comply with medical directives, or behaves in an inappropriate manner, the doctor may dismiss him or her. A physician should ensure that the patient is stable so that complaints about abandonment do not arise. Physician licensing boards require physicians to give adequate notice, provide emergency medical care, and perform other duties. Physicians should ensure that they record everything during the termination process. Failure to do so may result in a complaint to your state’s medical board as a professional misconduct complaint. The transfer of medical records cannot be withheld by a physician due to a patient’s failure to pay for care. It is possible for the patient to initiate legal proceedings or file a complaint with the Medical Board. A physician cannot withhold a patient’s medical records in order to recoup payment for medical care. Make certain that you provide adequate notice of any emergency, provide emergency medical care when necessary, and provide copies of your medical records as soon as possible.
The patient-physician relationship must be terminated. The patient-physician relationship is entirely voluntary, so either party has the right to terminate it. As a result, physicians are obligated to provide their patients with the best possible care.
In order to provide the patient with proper notice of the physician’s decision, a physician must inform the patient by phone or face-to-face that the physician intends to end the relationship and write the patient a letter informing them of the decision. A certified mail envelope with a return receipt is required.
Guidelines for your use. Failure to make appointments, failure to keep appointments, or rude behavior are all reasons why physicians wish to dismiss patients. When deciding to dismiss a patient, the physician must consider the patient’s medical condition and needs.
Why Might A Physician Terminate Care Of A Patient?
According to the California Physician Legal Handbook, a physician may terminate a patient-physician relationship with no cause.
Without giving the patient advance notice, a physician-patient relationship can be terminated for any reason other than discrimination. Typically, a termination period of 15 to 30 days is provided. It is critical for the doctor to have a good relationship with the patient in order for treatment to be successful. In any case, the patient should seek treatment elsewhere if this partnership is impossible. The physician-patient relationship can be terminated without discrimination. Some managed care plans, in some cases, make terminating a patient relationship more difficult for the doctor. It is recommended that the physician review the patient’s health plan/HMO contractual guidelines to determine the appropriate course of action. HMOs may avoid contractual and/or legal issues by following these guidelines.
Choosing to terminate a patient-doctor relationship may not be an easy decision for any physician, but it is one that must be made in order to safeguard the patient and the physician. In writing, a physician must inform their patient of their decision to end the relationship, as well as specify the termination date. A copy of the terminated letter should be dated and certified, and a request for a return receipt should be included. If the patient does not follow the treatment plan or behaves rudely, abusively, or violently in response to the treatment plan, the doctor has the right to terminate the relationship.
Under What Circumstances Can A Provider Terminate A Clinical Relationship With A Patient?
If a provider feels that a clinical relationship with a patient is no longer beneficial, or if the patient is not following the treatment plan, the provider may terminate the relationship.
One of the top reasons members seek assistance is to terminate patient relationships. Patients may need to end their relationships with caregivers because their therapeutic efficacy has been compromised. However, the provider must end the relationship in a manner that does not result in claims of discrimination or abandonment. Prior to ending the relationship, establish a written policy and procedure in which interventions are addressed. As a result, when ending the patient relationship, there may be additional steps or a delay. You can mail the written notice to the patient in first-class and certified mail, as well as request a return receipt. When you terminate a patient relationship, it is critical to document your recommendations, the patient’s continued noncompliance with treatment plans, and your efforts to assist the patient in becoming aware of the risks of noncompliance.
If the patient and provider agree that the patient will be better managed by another provider, the relationship should be terminated. Document the conversation with your patient if he fails to make subsequent appointments or if he informs your office that he intends to seek treatment elsewhere. Send the patient a letter if he fails to make subsequent appointments. Finally, it is up to the practitioner to make the final decision on a patient relationship ending.
When Can A Doctor Legally Discharge A Patient?
If a patient does not comply with the doctor’s orders, he or she may be discharged. Similarly, if a patient is disruptive or abusive, the doctor may discharge them.