Closing Your Practice

Can You Sell Your Medical Practice?
A physician may sell his or her practice to another physician or a limited selection of other entities. Salability of practices varies from community to community, and specialty to specialty. If your practice engages a practice-broker or consultant to assist you in the sale, check with your State to make sure if licensure is required in that state, and they are licensed to do so, like in California. Ask for a copy of the law, don't just rely on their word, as laws change. Licensed consultants/brokers are required to provide a copy of their license number.

Does Your Practice Have Value?
There is no single formula for valuing a medical practice. This information is meant only as a guide and is not a complete list of what you will need to appraise your practice. You will need assistance from your attorney, accountant, and possibly a professional practice appraiser, such as at http://www.MedicalPracticeAppraisal.com. The practice value consists of accounts receivable, tangible assets and intangible assets (goodwill). A common value for goodwill is approximately 25% of the past year's collections, though this can vary widely.

Partnership and Corporate Practices
Have your attorney review carefully the arrangements of your agreement with your partners, and advise you of any concerns.

Controlled Substances
For specific instructions on disposal of controlled substances, you must contact the Drug Enforcement Agency local office Return any unused DEA order forms (not to be confused with the State triplicate prescription pads) to the DEA. Be sure to VOID ALL FORMS before mailing. If you wish to maintain your DEA registration after retirement, contact the DEA to inform them of your change of address To surrender your DEA registration, mail it receipt-requested to the DEA at the Washington, DC address. Include a letter stating your intent. You may sell drugs which are not controlled substances. Discuss this with your pharmaceutical detail person(s) as pharmaceutical companies may take back unopened, unexpired stock. Return any unused state triplicate prescription pads with a letter regarding your retirement or office closure (registered, receipt requested) to your State Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement. Be sure to VOID ALL PADS. Ask both the DEA and BNE what retention requirements are for your records pertaining to controlled substances when you turn in your registration and triplicate pads.

Informing Your Patients of a Move or Retirement
You must inform your patients of your intent to retire or move in good time for them to establish a relationship with a new physician and have copies of their medical records transferred. See attached the example notification letter. There is a convenient records release form at the bottom of the letter which your patient may fill out and return to you. If you charge a fee for the duplication of patient records, it may be appropriate for you to indicate this on the letter to avoid misunderstandings between you and your patients. Note any transfer of records, and to whom they were transferred, in your retained copy of the patient's medical record. Do not transfer original records. Physicians, their estates, or a physician-custodian should retain medical records ( or digital copies) in perpetuity as a safeguard against malpractice liability problems. Ask your malpractice carrier about their requirements. For patients who made no arrangements for duplication of records at the time of your retirement, you may wish to make your attorney the contact person between your and patients who seek copies of records in the future. You may wish to consider putting your records on microfilm or placing your records in a rented storage location. As a precaution, notify your local medical society of the location of your records.

Insurance Coverage
In advance of your planned retirement date, go over all of your insurance policies with your insurance broker. Remember to request a refund on unexpired policies that are canceled. Talk to your liability insurance broker about what coverage you will need to protect yourself in retirement. Be sure that your workers’ compensation insurance remains in effect while your employees are still working. Review life, health, and disability policies.

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