- The patient fails to pay his/her bills.
- The patient continually cancels or misses appointments.
- The patient is rude, disruptive, uses improper language, exhibits violent behavior or threatens the safety of the office staff or other patients.
- The office staff is uncomfortable working with or communicating with the patient.
- The patient is dissatisfied with the care he/she received from the physician.
- The patient requires more highly specialized services than the physician can provide.
- There is a conflict of interest between the patient and the physician (e.g., the physician’s religious beliefs preclude him/her from providing certain treatment options, or the physician has a personal or financial interest in the treatment option).
- The patient is habitually uncooperative and refuses to comply with the treatment plan.
- The patient fails to complete a series of treatments.
- The patient is unreasonably demanding.
- The patient did not provide an honest medical history or was misleading in the information he/she provided, thereby compromising the efficacy of treatment.
- The patient develops a personal interest in the physician. Examples include excessive contact with the physician, demanding the physician’s time in the absence of a legitimate or urgent medical need or becoming angry or unreasonable when the physician is unavailable.
- The physician develops a personal interest in the patient. Examples include consultations that involved discussion of information not relevant to the patient’s treatment (e.g., details about the physician’s personal life), the physician becomes attracted to the patient or the physician acted in a manner that would be deemed inappropriate by his/her colleagues.
- The patient filed a complaint or initiated a legal proceeding against the physician.
Steps to Terminating the Relationship and the Letter to the Patient
One of the most difficult problems for a physician is finding the most appropriate way to terminate the physician–patient relationship. The responsibility for ending the relationship rests with the physician and should not be delegated to an office staff member. Here are several steps for physicians to follow when terminating the relationship with a patient: | ← Previous | | | Next → | Single Page