Knowledge Library

Closing A Medical Practice Upon Retirement

When physicians decide to close their medical practice, whether due to retirement, change in practice, or a career change, several questions come up. Common issues include how to smoothly transition patients to another provider, who to notify, and what should be done with medical records. This article will address some of those questions.   Attorney Consultation Physicians who plan to retire and sell their medical practice should consider consulting with an attorney who specializes in business and/or healthcare law for advice on signing sales contracts, determining appropriate compensation, selling office equipment, etc. Among other things, the attorney may advise that...

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How Long Should We Keep Medical Records?

One of the most common questions asked of MIEC’s Patient Safety & Risk Management Department is how long physicians should maintain their medical records after a patient leaves the practice, or upon retirement. While many might assume that there are clear laws and regulations around this issue, in fact there are few laws that address it (please see the table below for information on state laws). MIEC’s recommendations are as follows:   What Attorneys Advise “Keep medical records forever.” This is the advice of many malpractice defense attorneys, because in the event of a medical malpractice claim, the medical records...

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New Alaska Supreme Court Ruling Regarding Ex Parte

New ruling in Alaska restricts disclosure of patient information related to litigation. For decades, Alaska has allowed informal methods of “discovery” (sharing of information) during litigation, including private discussions between defense attorneys and the plaintiff’s treating physicians.  These “ex parte” communications were encouraged by the Alaska Supreme Court, as they facilitated early evaluation and settlement of cases, with a resulting decrease in litigation costs. However, a new ruling by the Court on June 22, 2018, determined that a cultural shift in views on medical privacy warranted overruling this practice. In Harrold-Jones vs. Drury, et al., the Court held that “absent...

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California Providers – Mandatory CURES Reports

As of October 2, 2018, all providers practicing in California must check the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) database before prescribing certain medications, including opioid pain medications. Physicians and advanced practice providers who prescribe controlled substances already must be registered with CURES 2.0, according to state law.  California Health and Safety Code Section 11165.1 requires health care practitioners authorized to prescribe, order, administer, furnish, or dispense scheduled controlled substances to submit a CURES registration application to the Department of Justice before July 1, 2016, or upon receipt of a DEA registration. Senate Bill 482, which was signed...

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Hawai’i Providers: Mandatory Opioid Prescription Requirements under Act 66

MIEC’s member providers in Hawai'i who prescribe opioid pain medications should be aware of a new state law which just went into effect this month. This new law imposes more stringent requirements around chronic pain management, patients who are also taking anti-anxiety medication, and/or patient who are on large dosages of opioids. Specific elements of the law are discussed below. Under Hawai'i Act 66 (17), Relating to Heath, as of July 1, 2018, all providers authorized to prescribe opioids in Hawai'i must adopt a written policy that includes the execution of a written informed consent document when prescribing opioids to...

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