Terminating the Physician/Patient Relationship – San Diego Healthcare Attorney

From time to time, it becomes necessary for a physician to terminate his or her relationship with a patient.  In order to avoid patient claims of abandonment, a physician should take steps in order to properly sever the physician/patient relationship.  Generally, termination of the relationship includes a reasonable notice to the patient and an opportunity to find substitute care.

It is advisable to send a written notice of termination of the relationship to the patient via certified mail, return receipt requested. The notice should provide the patient with the physician’s reasoning for terminating the relationship (i.e. the patient’s noncompliance).

The written notice must also allow the patient an opportunity to find substitute medical care. To accomplish this, the notice should state the physician’s agreement to provide treatment and access to services for a reasonable period of time (i.e. 30 days), in order to allow the patient to secure substitute care. If the physician can, he/she should also provide resources or recommendations to help the patient locate substitute care.

Finally, the notice should let the patient know that the physician will assist in the transfer of medical records to the patient’s new physician upon receiving a signed authorization to do so.

It is important to note that there are many laws in place which deny physicians the right to terminate patients for a variety of reasons, including sex, race, religion, and physical disability.
It is also important to note that the above are just a few recommendations when ending a physician/patient relationship. Certain circumstances may require additional information as is necessary.

Our firm has experience advising physicians regarding patient termination, and we would be happy to speak to you regarding your matter. For more information, please contact is at the VC Law Group via phone at (858) 519-7333 or email at info@thevclawgroup.com.