When you decide to retire from your medical practice, it is essential to notify your patients. The best way to send a notification to all patients is with a physical letter informing them of your retirement. If you are unsure what to include in a physician retirement letter, we are here to help. In this article, we will provide advice for crafting a letter that you can personalize and send to patients.
In addition, we’ve included a template retirement letter to patients at the bottom of the article that you can customize and use.
Why You Need a Retirement Letter
Meet your legal requirements
First, there are certain legal requirements that must be met when you retire. If you retire from your practice without notifying patients, you are at risk for patient abandonment lawsuits. Abandonment lawsuits can be fairly costly, taking away from time and money during your retirement. There are also some state laws that dictate notification requirements, such as the minimum date of notification. In most cases, you will need to notify your patients of your retirement at least 60 days in advance.
Help your patients plan for the future
Secondly, if you are retiring and either closing or selling your practice, your patients need to be notified so that they can make a decision about the future of their healthcare. If you are retiring but not closing your practice, you may be able to refer your patients to another physician within your practice. If you are retiring and selling your practice, you need to inform your patients of the physician who will be taking over. If your entire practice is closing, you should provide references to other physicians that can provide care for your patients. In any case, it is important to give your patients the opportunity to choose what they would like to do.
Show that you care
Lastly, a retirement letter shows your patients that you care about them, even when you retire. As a physician, you develop a level of trust with your patients over time. You are a part of their health and wellness in everyday life. When you decide to retire, you do not want to break their trust or give them a negative impression of healthcare professionals. A personalized retirement letter will show that you respect them and the future of their well-being.
What to Include In a Physician Retirement Letter
When writing your retirement letter, there is some specific information that you should include. This information will give your patients everything they need to understand and make arrangements for their future healthcare. The most essential information to include is:
- Date of Closure (if applicable) – As we mentioned above, when some physicians retire, they close their entire practice. If this applies to you, you need to include the date of your closure in your retirement letter.
- Reason for Closure (if applicable) – It is important that your patients understand why you are closing your practice. You do not need to be too specific here; you can simply state that you have decided to retire.
- Patient Record Information – When a medical practice closes, they need to have a company or new medical group properly store and handle all future requests for medical records. In your retirement letter, you should inform patients of the company or group storing their records and how they can request those records. Without a medical record solution, there is the potential for a lawsuit.
- New Physician References – Whether you’re selling your practice, closing it down, or simply leaving it to other physicians in your group, you need to notify patients of their options for future care. You should also include a form that patients can sign to authorize the transfer of their records to another physician in your practice or a new physician.
Example Physician Retirement Letter
At Desert River Solutions, our goal is to help physicians efficiently and easily meet their legal requirements so that they can move on to other opportunities worry-free. If you’re ready to retire from your medical practice, we can assist with medical record storage and retirement letters.
Below please find an example retirement letter with placeholders that you can customize. Simply copy and paste into your favorite word processing program, customize the template to suit your specific needs, and have it printed on your practice’s official letterhead.
I am writing this letter to inform you that we will be closing my medical practice effective [Date]. I will be unable to continue with your care or renew your prescriptions after that date. This has not been an easy decision for me, as caring for my patients has been a great source of satisfaction and pleasure these many years.
[Explain the reasons for leaving, if you want]
I suggest you arrange to place yourself under the care of another [type of doctor] as soon as possible. [Name all docs with phone numbers you are referring your patients to]
After [date] all patient records will be sent to Desert River Solutions to be the custodian of medical records. Starting on [date] please start requesting your medical records from Desert River Solutions. To request your medical record please visit the site below to sign and return the medical release form. All instructions are on that webpage:
Below is all other contacts for Desert River Solutions:
[email protected] (Email)
To edit your own copy in Google Docs, click File > Make a Copy.