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Notifying Patients of Physician Leaving Practice

By 20 May 2024May 26th, 2024No Comments
notifying patients of physicians leaving practice letter

How to Write a Good Sample Letter to Inform Patients of a Physician Leaving Practice?

It is not unlikely for physicians to switch jobs and move on with their careers with a different practice. In a survey, 50% of physicians stated that they plan to leave their current institution to start work somewhere else.

notifying patients of physicians leaving practice letter

However, it is not a simple task for physicians to announce their resignations and leave. They cannot just send a sample letter to inform patients and employers a week before departing. There are many obligations revolving around the resignation and retirement of doctors that they must follow.

One such significant obligation is to send a physician resignation letter to patients. They should know that their current doctor is leaving well in advance to have enough time to look for a new physician.

In this blog, we will discuss how to write an effective and legally-compliant letter to patients from doctor leaving practice. Also, we will go through a template and some sample letters for your reference.

Why Is Sending a Sample Letter Notifying Patients Physician Leaving Practice Crucial?

There are tons of responsibilities that physicians need to complete before resigning. To begin with, they need to review all the documents they signed at the time of joining their current institution. It is advisable to be clear about all the terms and conditions in-depth.

An employment contract has several provisions regarding retirement qualifications, tail coverage, notice period, etc. Thus, make sure to know these policies before sending out a doctor leaving practice announcement.

Also, practices seldom allow physicians to own the medical records of patients. Therefore, try to find out how this data will be treated after your departure.

The Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) states that three months is the ideal timeframe for physicians to send a closing sample medical office letters to patients. Thus, another crucial thing you must do is notifying patients of physician leaving practice.

It can be for your patients to switch, so ensure that you leave them in good hands. A letter of gratitude that explains the reason for your departure and a helpful list of recommendations for your patients can go a long way.

Your closing practice letter to patients should include:

  • Your departure date
  • Ways to help patients access copies of their medical data
  • An authorization for document transfers, etc.

It is advisable to contact a healthcare attorney if you aren’t sure about the legal requirements related to a physician’s departure.

Apart from patients, you may also need to send a relocating medical practice letter to the medical board, physicians’ groups, and other third parties.

It is not essential to wait until three months before sending notification letters; you can start mailing them out as soon as possible.

How to Send Physician Resignation Letter to Patients?

There are specific regulations regarding informing patients of a physician’s departure. These rules are legally binding, so take care that you understand them clearly. Again, an attorney should be able to guide you through the process.

Here’s a list of acceptable notification methods prescribed by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO):

  • Call current or active patients
  • Put up printed notices in the physician’s office (in a place visible to everyone)
  • Send a sample letter to inform patients discussing the significance of continuing care. This letter must also tell patients where to look for another doctor
  • Post your departure details on the website to notify your online audience
  • Newspaper advertisements, etc.

If you decide on sending resignation and continuation of care letters to patients, try sending them via Registered Mail. Also, save copies of public advertisements and note down all the details as evidence in legal disputes.

The next thing that is likely to pop up in your mind is which of the above options is the best way to notify patients. Undoubtedly, it is always better to contact active patients 1:1 than to put up notices and hope that they read them. And sending an offline doctor leaving practice announcement is a great way to do that!

Getting a medical letter from the doctor before departure can help patients avoid worrying about their healthcare. By sending out letters and calling patients personally, you can assure that they can continue their treatments hassle-free.

Next, it is wise to use newspaper advertising for a broader and official announcement. Also, newspaper ads are an excellent way to maintain official records of your notification.

Other ways like sharing on social media and websites may not be as effective as sending a letter to patients from doctor leaving practice. Undoubtedly, offline mail gets way more attention and importance than online posts.

Helpful Tips to Employ While Writing a Sample Letter to Inform Patients About Your Departure

Below, we have mentioned some effective points to help you write legally-correct and effective departure letters:

Keep it Professional, Yet Personal

You may think that your letter to patients when leaving practice should be highly professional. While that is true, you must also add a personal touch. Your patients have been visiting you for months or years; they have the right to know why you are leaving and your plans.

Begin the letter with a heartfelt thank you to make your patients feel appreciated. Being professional doesn’t mean writing a bland, formal letter in this situation. Make the goodbye letter to patients from doctor interactive and responsive.

PostGrid’s direct mail services can help you personalize your letters to add to their value. This way, you can address all your patients personally and increase the effectiveness of your message.

Provide Helpful Recommendations

It is your job to help your patients find another physician who can take over their treatments. The simplest way to do that is to recommend other doctors who have similar qualifications and work experience as you.

Try adding the qualifications and contact information of the recommended doctors in your sample letter to inform patients.

Notify Patients About the Transfer of Their Records

Your patients’ medical information may be the property of your current practice. But, patients should be able to decide if they want to transfer their records to their new physician. Also, they should be able to obtain copies of their information for reference and further treatment.

Your physician resignation letter to patients must include the steps to getting these copies or transferring their records.

Refrain From Sharing Your Patients’ Details

Physicians might mistakenly talk about their patients’ personal information while discussing personal experiences. But, it can make your sample letter to inform patients relocation is illegal and can lead to several issues.

Feel free to run your letter contents by an attorney to ensure that your letter is legally compliant.

Template for a Letter to Patients from Doctor Leaving Practice

Writing a letter to patients telling them about your plans to leave may be a little complicated. This letter is personal in nature but includes several formal and technical details.

Thus, we have mentioned a template below to help you write a sample letter notifying patients’ physician leaving practice.

Nora Christie, M.D. (Your full name)
The Public Medical Center (The name of your current practice)
4 Riverside DR (Delivery address)
Windsor ON N8S 1H1 (City or municipality, province, postal code)

Date: 7th March 2024

Mark Sawyer (Your patient’s full name)
782 Wyandotte ST (Delivery address)
Windsor ON N9B 1H8 (City, province, postal code)

Dear Mr. Mark (Salutation)

(Discuss the motive of writing this doctor leaving practice announcement letter. Be upfront about the current scenario and the reasons for your departure. Also, talk about what you plan on doing after you leave your current practice.)

(Inform your patients how they can find another doctor and add your recommendations. Mention the contact details of your current institution so that patients can book an appointment, raise queries, and get in touch with you). 

(Your sample letter to inform patients must also cover how the patient’s medical records will be treated. Mention all such details in the third and last paragraphs).

(Signing off or closing line)
(Signature)

Sample Letters to Notify Patients of a Physician’s Departure

Here is a sample letter notifying patients physician leaving practice that you can use as a reference:

NKW Hospitals
29 Greene AVE
Montreal QC H4C 2J8

Date: 7th March

To,

Jackson Daniels
7 Rue Saint-Jean ST
Quebec City QC G1R 1R7

Dear Mr. Jackson, 

This letter is to inform you that Dr. David Williams will be leaving our institution on 18th June this year. He has decided to relocate to the States to spend more time with his family. It has not been easy to cope with his upcoming departure, but we wish him all the best for his next venture. 

With this doctor leaving the practice announcement, we would also like to assure you that your medical care shall be uninterrupted. Dr. David has recommended some other physicians who can take over and fulfill his duties. We have mentioned their details at the end of this letter.

Please feel free to contact our patient assistance team on +1 514 749 2222 or drop an email at support@nkwhospitals.com. Also, note that your medical records will be retained by NKW and you can obtain copies by contacting us. 

If you want to transfer your medical records, fill up the enclosed authorization form and send it back to us. 

Regards, 
(Hospital signature)

Enclosures: 1, Authorization form. 

Recommendations:

    1. Mike Saltzman, M.D. Extn – 25
    2. Kanika Singh, M.D. Extn – 31

The above sample letter to inform patients demonstrates how your practice can contact them and discuss the current scenario. Though it is acceptable, you may also take the other route and write a letter talking personally to your patients. We have included a sample below to give you a hint:

Liam Martin, M.D.
The Victoria Healthcare Institute
361 Acton ST
Victoria BC V8T 1Y1

To, 

Lily Robbins
2 100 AVE
Surrey BC V3V 2W7

Dear Ms. Lily, 

I hope you are doing well! This letter is in regards to my retirement from TVHC. I was privileged to be a part of this esteemed hospital for the last ten years and will be forever grateful. Also, I would like to thank you for trusting me with your healthcare and supporting me for years.

Another reason why I am writing this physician resignation letter to patients is to ensure that you can find another doctor effortlessly. I have been working with Dr. Jared for almost seven years now and can tell you that he is one of the doctors in his field. 

You can book an appointment with him through the number mentioned on the letterhead. I am sure that he will be able to take over your treatment smoothly and not let you feel my absence. 

Please note that your medical records are safely retained by the institute as I depart. You can request copies of the same or get them transferred to another physician.

For any other questions or follow-ups, you can call on +1 250-730-9999. 

Once again, I would like to appreciate your support and thank you for making me a part of your life. 

Sincerely, 
(Signature)

How Can PostGrid Help You Print and Send Physician Resignation Letter to Patients

Now that you know how to write a sample letter to inform patients of your departure, let us also discuss how you can print and distribute it.

PostGrid’s direct mail API can help you create, print, and mail your letters altogether at the most affordable rates. You can integrate our API into your system and automate the entire process. Thus, you won’t have to deal with finding printing vendors, handling logistics, or tracking your letters. 

Our extensive range of features include:

  • Address verification: Verify your patients’ addresses before mailing
  • Pre-built letter templates: Letter template to patients from doctors leaving practice
  • Per-piece tracking: Track the delivery status of your letters
  • Reporting and analytics: Maintain records and get insights into your orders
  • Print and mail fulfillment: Print and mail your doctor leaving practice announcement letters at all-inclusive rates. We also help you send other medical documents like bills, lab invoices, patient statements, Explanation of Coverage (EOC), etc.

To know more about our features and understand how PostGrid can assist you in sending a sample letter to inform patients, request a demo now!