We have certain guidelines for how we wish to interact with our patients. It is built on the principle of mutual respect.
Although it is infrequent, our practice has needed to terminate our relationship with specific patients through a graceful exit process. Discharging a patient is never easy, especially after working with them to try to improve issues at hand.
- Frequent late cancellations and no-show appointments. Our cancellation policy is similar to many doctors’ offices in that we require our patients to take responsibility for missing their appointments. Whenever you make an appointment, our office reserves a time for you, and you make a good-faith promise that you will be there. Our office usually contacts you beforehand to help remind you. If you are unable to make the appointment, we request the courtesy of letting our office know, so we can assign the time slot to other patients. We regret having to discharge patients from our practice who don’t care to inform us of their anticipated absence, resulting in more than three no shows.
- A pattern of not getting ordered labs and tests done. Our physician cannot continue to manage a patient’s prescription and treatment plans without periodic testing and office visits. We have discharged patients who refuse to complete their labs and frequently late-cancel or no-show to their appointments. In such cases, it is unfair to require a physician to continue assuming liability without the necessary means to evaluate treatment response and safety.
- Demanding the office to give you test results without reviewing them first with the physician. Our office will notify patients of routine lab results that are normal. These results confirm the effectiveness of treatment plans, and do not require follow up visits with the doctor. When there are lab results that require explanation and discussion of management options, it is our policy that these reports are not released prior to the appointment to prevent misinterpretation of results. A copy of your results is provided to you at the time of your visit.
- Failure to adhere to office financial policy and repeated non-payment. We work with patients to extend grace through payment options and special arrangements.
- Rude and inappropriate behavior toward office staff. The office staff assists the physician in taking care of your health. We make efforts to treat patients with kindness. Verbal abuse or hostile threats toward the physician or office staff will not be tolerated.
- Refusal to work with our office’s recommendation to consider other specialists. Our physician works collaboratively with other MDs and DOs when their involvement is needed in treating and diagnosing a patient. Certain medical conditions require the involvement of additional physician specialists such as cardiologists, endocrinologists, pain specialists, neurologists, oncologists, or gastroenterologists. By refusing to involve needed specialists, a patient is essentially forcing the referring physician to assume undue burden and liability. It is not good patient care.
- In treating chronic pain, our office might involve concurrent care from a pain specialist. Our goal is to prescribe pain medication responsibly and safely while the patient is under our care, and together find ways for long-term relief. Periodic monitoring through lab work and office visit evaluation are medically and legally necessary for controlled substance prescriptions. Our office would not be a good fit for patients who demand pain medications without being willing to comply with office policy and procedures.