Care Termination Letter to Ensure Smooth Transition

Physicians often face the uphill task of writing a physician termination letter. This is because patients sometimes don’t agree with the physician’s decision to terminate their contract.

Physicians have many reasons for terminating a contract. But there are ways a physician can ensure a seamless transition when terminating such a relationship. This article explains the essential parts of writing an effective physician termination letter.

How to Write a Good Physician Termination Letter

You should first look up local laws to be sure of what it is that you need to write.

Explain the Underlying Reason

Although a physician isn’t required by law to state the reason for the termination in every state, it is still good to do this. Common reasons cited include the patient’s inability to pay for care or failure to follow medical advice. It is important to keep your comments simple and concise without any emotions attached. For example, if the patient is being discharged due to inability to pay the medical bills, then the physician can simply state:

It has been determined that patient’s impairment is so severe that they can’t work. Therefore, we are discharging the patient due to the inability to pay medical bills.

Other reasons often cited are the patient’s inappropriate behavior toward staff, negligence on the patient’s part, and the physician’s retirement.

End of Care Date

Although it’s clear that you’re not caring for the patient, be sure to include the date you’ll stop caring for them. This way, the patient knows when you’ll stop after you verbally agree to provide care. Keep on a folder of the patient’s records and make sure the patient has the necessary information to find a replacement healthcare provider. Lastly, be sure to have a grace period of 30 days before severing the relationship.

Interim Care Options

It’s a good idea to include interim care options in the letter. You don’t want your patient to feel like you’re kicking them out. Let them know you’ll still care for them until the end of care date.

Include Referrals

To make the transition easier, you can include referrals to other physicians or regional hospitals. In addition, you may encourage them to contact their insurance company for recommendations. You should also tell them you’re willing to provide their medical records to their new physician. Doing this ensures that the process is seamless and everybody is happy.

Example of a Well-Written Physician Termination Letter

person sitting while using laptop computer and green stethoscope near
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Sometimes, it’s just better to have a template or sample to work with. You can check below for one.

Dear John Doe, 

We regret to inform you that your physician-patient relationship with us will be ending as of [date]. 

The reason for this decision is ____________. 

We want to assure you that we have made every effort to avoid this outcome and have explored all other options. 

 Your last date of care will be [date]. We will make sure you have continuity of care by providing a list of interim care options and referrals. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. 

Sincerely, 

[Name]

Conclusion

When a doctor-patient relationship ends, you need to write a certified letter to the effect. This article has shown you the most important aspects of the letter. In addition, we’ve included a template to help you write yours.

Care Termination Letter to Ensure Smooth Transition

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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