How to dismiss a noncompliant patient

August 1, 2008

How do I dismiss a noncompliant patient from my practice?

I have a number of patients who just won't follow through with their treatment plans, no matter what I do. If I decide to discharge them from my practice, how should I do it?

You must send each patient a "termination of care" letter. That letter should reiterate your efforts to help the patient and explain that you're withdrawing as his physician. List the conditions for which he'll need ongoing care and direct him to the local hospital or medical society for help in finding another doctor. Be sure to give him the appropriate contact information. Also, tell him you'll be available for 30 days to treat him in case of an emergency. One more thing: Include an authorization form for him to sign and return to you, in case he wants you to send his records to his new physician.

Send your practice management questions to: PMQA Editor, Medical Economics, 24950 Country Club Blvd., Suite 200, North Olmsted, OH 44070-5351, or send an e-mail to memoney@advanstar.com (please include your regular postal address).