Mar 16, 2012

Terminating a Patient?

A recent conversation I had with a healthcare provider went something like this:

Physician: I know I can terminate a patient who is giving me problems, but I also know that I have to be careful how I go about it. Can you help?

Me: Physicians do have the right to terminate a patient; however, these situations should be reserved for the most extreme circumstances, and must be done carefully. Failure to correctly terminate a patient may result in lawsuits and patients feeling abandoned.

Physician: This particular patient continues to make abusive comments to my staff. I have spoken with him about it, but there does not appear to be any change from him. Many members of my staff are uncomfortable in his presence. 

Me: The Compliance PhD training: Firing a Patient should provide you and your staff with the appropriate steps to resolve this situation. The training covers 10 basic steps to ensure your office is protected should this patient disagree with your assessment.

The training covers basic topics such as: Striving to Establish a Relationship, Identifying Inappropriate Behavior, Preparing to Notify the Patient, Notifying the Patient using Certified Mail, Provide Feedback, and Documenting each step along the way.

Physicians do have the right to terminate the physician/patient relationship when a patient is being abusive. In many situations, however, it is important to remember that people are not always on their best behavior when they are sick.

For additional information, visit to view the course outline of the Compliance PhD training course: How to Fire a Patient.

Have a question: Email us at or call us at 720-475-0134.

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