When a Physician Quits

September 1, 2007

We are a two-physician practice, but one physician just gave notice that he will be going into a solo private practice almost immediately. I need some advice on how to proceed with notifying insurance companies, what to do about chart transfers, and so on. The physician is an employee of the corporation.

Question: We are a two-physician practice, but one physician just gave notice that he will be going into a solo private practice almost immediately. I need some advice on how to proceed with notifying insurance companies, what to do about chart transfers, and so on. The physician is an employee of the corporation.

Answer: What bad news.

Well, you should contact your payers. Often they will have forms online to make such changes. You’ll just be notifying them that this physician is no longer working with you, which should help them avoid confusion when they start getting claims from him with a different address.

Regarding chart transfers, you need to look at the terms of your employment contract with the physician and what you promised to do, for one thing.

You should send the physician’s patients a note, letting them know that he is leaving and that you’ll be happy to help them set appointments with the other physicians in the group. If any patients request a chart transfer, you transfer the chart.

What is more vague is whether you are obligated to give patients a forwarding address or phone number, and/or whether the departing physician has any right to a list of his patients with their addresses. This is where the contract comes in, as well as local issues relating to how friendly you want to stay with him.