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CLAIMS Rx DIRECTORY


RISK MANAGEMENT PUBLICATION

Termination of the Physician-Patient Relationship: Breaking Up is Hard to Do

April 2020

Withdrawing from a patient relationship can be done appropriately and ethically in a variety of circumstances. If you don’t terminate the physician-patient relationship in an appropriate manner, you may be liable for patient abandonment. One must ensure patients are given an appropriate period of time to find a new provider. What constitutes an appropriate time period for termination can depend on specialty, practice location, patient condition, third-party payer agreement, state statutes, medical ethics, and various other factors. To highlight the various scenarios that can lead to abandonment claims, this Claims Rx presents brief case studies from a variety of sources, including NORCAL Group closed claims files and risk management specialists’ reports, appellate court opinions, and medical journal case reports.

CASE ONE
An Average Case of Non-Compliance

CASE TWO
Behavioral Health

CASE THREE
Chronic Pain/Addiction

CASE FOUR
Immediate Termination

CASE FIVE
Terminating When Securing Alternative Care Will Be Difficult

CASE SIX
Abandonment during Coverage Inadequacies

SPECIAL FEATURE
Abandonment at Retirement

 

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