Why Have a Checklist for Closing Your Medical Practice

When you’re ready to close your medical practice, you want the transition to be as smooth as possible. However, there are quite a few legal and logistical steps that need to be taken care of before your last day. In this article, we will provide you with the definitive checklist for closing your medical practice so that you can move on to your next chapter worry-free.

Attempting to navigate this transition without a clearly defined process for medical practice closure can create unnecessary stress for both you and your patients.

To get access to the full checklist we use, please fill out the form at the bottom of this article.

All About Closure Notifications

This should be the first step in your checklist for closing your medical practice. A closure notification informs the public that your practice will be closing, and the date of closure. Notifications should be sent to staff, patients, health insurance companies, government agencies, and any other health organizations or partners you have worked with.

In some states, there are laws that specify the closure notification date, but in most cases, closure notifications need to be sent out at least 60 days prior to your closure date. We recommend sending out your notifications between 60 and 90 days before your closure date.

We recommend sending a physical letter, posting signage around your practice, and posting information about the closure on your website. It is essential that anyone who visits your practice or practice website can easily find the closure information.

A closure notification letter should include:

  • The date of closure.
  • The reason for closure, i.e., retirement, relocation, etc.
  • A forwarding address or phone number for questions after your closure.
  • An authorization form for patients to sign so that their medical records can be transferred to a new practice. (For patient notifications only).
  • Information on patient record storage, i.e., where the records will be stored, how to contact the storage facility, and any costs associated with patient record requests. (For patient notifications only).

If you do not post and send out a closure notification, you may be at risk for a patient abandonment lawsuit.

Map Out Your Closing Tasks

The next step on your checklist for closing your medical practice is to handle all closing tasks. Closing tasks are logistical steps that need to be performed around your office so that you can close your practice. We recommend taking care of all closing tasks 30 to 60 days before your closure date.

Closing tasks may include:

  • Reviewing patient accounts.
  • Properly disposing of clinic documents, equipment, and medications.
  • Preparing a voicemail for phone calls that come in after your practice has closed.
  • Contacting the postal service to leave a forwarding address.
  • Helping your staff navigate the transition.

The most important closing task is the transfer and storage of patient medical records. When a medical practice closes, they are required by law to have a custodian of medical records to maintain medical record storage and handle all future patient record requests. Otherwise, there is the potential for a lawsuit. A custodian of records will have experience handling sensitive information and can store medical records with HIPAA-compliant solutions.

Download An Example Checklist for Closing Your Medical Practice

At Desert River Solutions, we pride ourselves on delivering the best customer service we possibly can to both physicians and patients. Our goal is to help physicians and medical practices efficiently and easily meet their legal requirements for closing their practices. Please fill out the form below to receive a PDF download of the medical practice closure checklist we use, or contact us today to learn more about how we can help you seamlessly close your practice and begin the next part of your life.  

Get your copy of the checklist by filling out the form below.

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