The Ultimate Checklist for Closing Your Medical Practice

Closing Your Medical Practice
Cross Country Locums
November 16, 2022 00:27 AM (GMT-04:00)
Provider Tips

Closing Your Medical Practice? Here’s What to Do.

Closing a medical practice can be complicated. There are many local, state and federal guidelines you must follow. Plus, depending on whether you’re retiring, moving or selling the practice, the procedures for closing can vary.

To help make things a bit clearer, we’ve assembled an extensive checklist. Be sure to consult an attorney and follow all applicable laws in your location.

If you’re like more in-depth guidance on any of these items and helpful tools like sample patient letters, see the references in our Resources section below.

Checklist for Closing Your Medical Practice

  • Assemble a team to help you close your practice, including an attorney and an accountant.
  • Check all local, state and federal laws for closing a practice in your location.
  • Tell your employees you’ll be closing the practice.
    • Consider offering incentives to employees who agree to stay until closing.
    • Prepare to hire temporary staff in case employees find another job before closing.
    • Review and discuss your obligations regarding vacation time, sick pay, pension plans, insurance and other employee benefits. 
  • Notify your patients that you’ll be closing your practice.
    • Ensure you notify patients within the proper timeline to avoid claims of abandonment.
    • Notify high-risk patients via certified mail with a return receipt.
    • Notify all other patients via regular mail.
    • Retain a copy of the notification in each patient’s record.
  • When you notify patients, include the following:
    • Closing date
    • Names of local physicians accepting new patients
    • Names of providers taking your over practice (if applicable)
    • Medical records storage information
    • Instructions for requesting records
    • Contact information for current and future questions, requests or concerns
  • Notify and settle accounts/licenses with:
    • Local, state and federal regulatory entities
    • DEA
    • CMS
    • State medical board
    • Credentialing organizations
    • Licensing boards
    • Professional organizations
    • Colleagues and other physicians
    • Health insurance companies
    • Hospitals where you have privileges
    • Laboratories
    • Vendors
    • Radiology facilities
    • Medical suppliers
    • Utilities
    • Office suppliers
    • Laundry services
    • Housekeeping services
    • Hazardous waste services
    • Collection agencies
    • Magazine subscriptions
    • Internet providers
    • Property owner, if leasing
  • Publish ads in local newspapers about your practice closing if your state requires it.
  • Post signs in the office and verbally inform each patient and visitor that the practice is closing.
  • Do not accept any new patients after you announce the closing.
  • Begin referring new and existing patients to other providers.
  • Collect on outstanding accounts.
  • Hire a collection agency to settle up any accounts after the practice closes.
  • Pay/settle all debts.
  • Review, update and/or cancel your and your employees’ insurance policies:
    • Health
    • Liability
    • Life
    • Disability
    • Workers’ compensation
  • Get tail coverage for delayed liability/malpractice claims.
  • Contact a records storage company to arrange for HIPAA-compliant and timeline-appropriate storage of paper and electronic medical records and employee records according to local, state and federal laws.
  • Notify your medical board regarding medical records location and storage details.
  • Set up a mailing address for delayed medical record requests.
  • Contact USPS for mail forwarding.
  • Set up an answering service to take calls that come in after closing.
  • Destroy, dispose of or store documents, as appropriate:
    • Financial records
    • Patient education materials
    • Brochures
    • Publications
  • Dispose of prescription drugs and drug samples according to law.
  • Destroy prescription pads.
  • Retain funds to cover any costs incurred after practice closes.
  • Withdraw from partnership, if applicable.
  • Deactivate assumed name of practice with appropriate authority, if applicable.
  • File articles of dissolution with secretary of state, if applicable.
  • Consult your attorney to facilitate sale, transfer or lease of practice, medical and office equipment, assets and property.
  • Consult your accountant to settle tax issues.
  • Contact the social security office if you are approaching retirement age.

Resources for Closing Medical Practice

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