Transfer of Patient Care
For those physicians who have patients in a hospital or other health facility under their care, the appropriate transfer of patient care to another physician must be completed and documented in the medical record.
It is especially important to make careful arrangements for alternate care and follow up for patients who have undergone recent tests and investigations, to avoid missed or delayed diagnoses at some time in the future. Physicians have both a professional and legal duty to use reasonable efforts to arrange appropriate transfer and follow-up care for those patients who require it.
Work in Progress (Investigations, Lab Tests and Consultations, etc.)
The CMPA has dealt with many examples of cases where work in progress has fallen “between the cracks” resulting in allegations of a delayed diagnosis or worse. The risk of such an occurrence increases with a physician leaving a practice. Physicians leaving a practice for whatever reason must have in place a system whereby all of the work in progress has been reviewed and appropriately acted upon.
It may be useful for primary care physicians to send a notice – with the name of a contact physician if possible – to those consultants to whom they most frequently refer patients, or to laboratories and x-ray facilities. It would be useful for these facilities to have the name of a contact physician, or the doctor’s forwarding address and a direction as to whom a report should be sent if alternate arrangements have not been made.
Cancer care agencies would also find it useful to know that a particular physician will no longer be available to follow patients, as would pharmacists, therapists and other health care professionals with who one regularly shares patient care. Physicians should also notify, in writing, their licensing body, their paying agency and the CMPA about changes in licensure and types of work.
Should a law suit be pursued against you for actions that occurred during your years as an active practicing physician, you do maintain CMPA access due to “occurrence based protection”.
All billing requests need to be submitted to Medical Services Branch within 6 months of your retirement date. There is no limit on the amount of time within which a physician can be charged with criminal fraud arising from their billings to MSP.
Billings can be audited for up to one year following your retirement date.