When you are thinking of retiring from the medical profession, it is true that for many doctors, it’s not as simple as hanging up your stethoscope and having a goodbye party for your colleagues and patients. Many important issues arise that are important to think about.
Tego Insurance has some suggestions for you when you decide to retire.
Whether retirement is on the horizon for you or not, here are some tips to help when you do decide it’s time to move on to the next chapter of your life. Here are a few tips:
Let your patients know – be proactive and write to your patients informing of your pending retirement. The Medical Board’s Code of Conduct mandates that you give advance notice to patients when possible, and coordinate the continuing medical care of your patients, including the transfer of patient records.
Write a letter of transfer for patients who require one, with an up-to-date medication list and investigation results attached.
Let any practitioners or hospitals you work with know you are retiring. Be sure to introduce your successor (if you have one) before you leave.
Also, let referring doctors know how they can access patient records after you have retired and advise relevant parties where they should send information and patient reports.
One of the more difficult tasks when you retire is finding out how to destroy, store or transfer your practice’s medical records. You must ensure that this is done in a secure way. One that always preserves your patients’ confidentiality.
Closing your Practice
If you have any legal issues before you close your practice, be sure you tie up any loose ends. These could include- business leases, superannuation, loans, payment of staff entitlements, workers’ compensation, medical malpractice and public liability insurance. You may need to consider run-off insurance for your entity. Also, any outstanding Medicare payments owed to other medical practitioners in the practice will need to be paid.
Partnership agreements can be complicated so it’s best to resolve any issues before you retire. An accountant and solicitor can help.
Items to destroy – If you haveWorkCover certificates with the practice’s address on them, excess prescription pads, letterhead and WorkCover certificates, be sure you securely destroy all of them.
In accordance with the legislation in your state or territory arrange for the disposal of any S4 or S8 drugs.
All healthcare practitioners must inform Medicare Australia so that provider numbers at a particular location are closed.
A claim can be made against you well into your retirement, so having adequate cover is vital. A run-off cover policy will provide you indemnity for claims arising from incidents yet to be reported.
For your individual medical indemnity insurance, you may be eligible for the Australian Government Run-Off Cover Scheme (ROCS).
Alternatively, you may want to maintain your AHPRA registration so that you can continue to write prescriptions and referrals or do intermittent locum work. If you decide to do this your college may insist you keep up with continuing professional points (CPD) and you will need the relevant indemnity policy in place.
Tego is here to help
While there are many issues when you decide to retire, be sure that you take care of all your business and legal issues before your retirement day. Just because you are retired doesn’t mean you can no longer be sued.
As Australian medical indemnity insurance providers, we understand the intricacies and risks involved in patient-doctor relationships. We are experts in medical indemnity insurance, medical malpractice insurance, doctor’s indemnity insurance, GP medical indemnity insurance, medical practice insurance, and more. If you are a health practitioner with Tego, we offer 24/7 medico-legal advice and support in regard to what you need to know about the risks invoiced with receiving a gift from a patient.
The recommendations contained in this publication must exercise their own independent skill or judgment or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular practice. Compliance with any recommendations will not in any way guarantee the discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional or practice. Tego Insurance Pty Ltd is not responsible to you or anyone else for any loss suffered in connection with the use of this information.
All content on this page has been written in a generic way and has not been presented with any knowledge of your personal objectives or financial needs.