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Practice Closure: what to do with EMR and malpractice coverage?

                                                               August 21, 2014
Question:

Jennifer,

Can you comment on the medico-legal aspects of closing a practice, specifically what to do with my EMR and malpractice coverage?  

Thanks,

Dr. M


Answer:

Closing a practice takes a lot of work in a number of different realms.  Employees have to be properly terminated and compensated, taxes have to be taken care of, ARs collected, patients redirected and properly notified, and more.  So, for our purposes, I will focus on the two highlighted areas: EMR and malpractice - 

EMR - as the treating provider and custodian of the medical records, you are required to maintain for the state statutory required limit - 6 years for adults, or the longer of 6 years of 1 year past majority for minors (for NY).  So, if you are not finding a practitioner to sell custodianship to or pay to take custodianship of, you will have to store yourself and have access.  

Malpractice - prior to closing up shop you will want to make sure your malpractice policy is paid in full and in effect up to the final date you treat patients at the practice.  You will also want to confirm you have maintained an "occurrence" policy - so that any claims made against you, whenever made, shall be covered by your policy.  If you have not maintained an "occurrence" policy, but a "claims made", be sure to inquire with your carrier whether you will require "tail" coverage, converting your "claims made" policy, covering you only for those claims made while the policy was in effect - not after the fact, to an "occurrence" policy. 

As stated above, there are many other factors to consider in closing, which cannot be covered in depth in this format.  To ensure you are properly addressing your specific practice issues be sure to work with your healthcare attorney as you prepare to close.

Have questions on closure, or looking for assistance, feel free to call or email Jennifer at 516 747 6700 x. 302 or at Jennifer@Kirschenbaumesq.com.  
   

 


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