You have dedicated years of your life providing compassionate care to thousands of patients; now you are looking forward to a comfortable retirement. As ready as you may be to hang up your stethoscope for good, there are certain responsibilities that retiring owners of physicians practices must still deal with.
Medical practice retirements need to be handled in the right way. To ensure this is done properly, you may want to consider obtaining physicians legal assistance to help you make the best retirement plan that considers these and other important arrangements.
Notification to Patients and Other Parties
Whether you are retiring from a group practice, closing your own, or selling to another owner, you have the legal responsibility to notify certain parties about your retirement. Doctors retiring from physicians practices must notify all patients seen within the last 12 months with a letter that announces their retirement and provides an effective date when you will no longer be providing medical services.
It should also state whether someone else is taking over the practice, how medical records can be obtained, and where they will be stored if the practice is closing. Besides this letter of notice to current patients, some states also require that medical practice retirements be announced in a local newspaper and that certain other individuals and organizations be notified as well.
You may be required to notify third parties that include state boards and professional medical associations, the DEA, your malpractice carrier, referring physicians, Medicare and Medicaid, and other parties with whom you have professional relationships. To ensure you notify all the right parties, physicians legal assistance from qualified attorneys may help.
Partnership Retirement Benefits
Medical practice retirements from partnerships are usually planned well in advance of the actual retirement date, allowing you time to negotiate the most fair benefits package. When the time comes for you to retire, you will be entitled to these benefits as they are outlined in your retirement agreement.
Has your medical practice considered what to do when you or other partners decide to retire? Is there an existing formula for what benefits, if any, the retiring physician is entitled to receive?
Continued Legal Obligations
Even though you will soon be retired, you will still have certain legal obligations regarding your past service. You are still required to respond to subpoenas, produce medical records that may be legally requested from you, and answer complaints or other communications from medical boards. It is highly recommended that you seek physicians legal assistance if you are contacted after your retirement for any of these reasons.
Medical practice retirements involve a bit more than choosing a date to conclude service and closing the doors of the practice. It is essential that you understand how to properly prepare for retirement from physicians practices and what your continued obligations may be. You can plan your retirement in advance with physicians legal assistance from attorneys who can properly advise you on your legal responsibilities and even help you negotiate your retirement benefits package!
The Stevenson Law Firm, PC
6302 W. Broadway, Suite 120
Pearland, TX 77581
Phone: (832) 481-4548