Defense against abandonment charges

October 7, 2005

When dismissing a patient from our practice, your experts recommend sending him a letter by certified mail, return receipt requested. But that can cost as much as $4. Why can't I just purchase a "certificate of mailing" for 90 cents?

Q: When dismissing a patient from our practice, your experts recommend sending him a letter by certified mail, return receipt requested. But that can cost as much as $4. Why can't I just purchase a "certificate of mailing" for 90 cents?

A: That won't be adequate protection against charges of abandonment. A certificate of mailing just proves that you mailed something. For proof that the patient actually received your letter, you should use certified mail, return receipt requested. It's worth the additional money. Be certain to staple the certified mail receipt to the patient's chart so you have it in case of subsequent litigation.