Need tips on where to look for backup, please.

  1. I have recently become the sole proprietor of my own nurse practitioner practice. I am running into an issue with my former practice falsely telling my patients whom I have not managed to contact for reasons such as an incorrect telephone number or other incorrect contact information that they have no idea where I am now located. One poor lady told me that they told her to 'try Google'!

    As I have spoken to them by telephone many times and as they are sending me medical records when I request such, this is of course untrue. They have all my contact information.

    The practice did not react favorably to the fact that I started my own practice and in fact terminated me when they found out I had purchased a building.

    Can anyone tell me if this is the norm? I will be contacting my state boards of nursing and medical examiners tomorrow to get guidance on how best to proceed, but wasn't sure if anyone else had experienced this. Not asking for legal advice, just personal experiences as to whether or not this is something that is common.

    Thank you.

    moderators, please feel free to delete and please notify me if this is not allowed. Thank you.
  2. Visit AngelfireRN profile page

    About AngelfireRN, APRN

    Joined: Jul '07; Posts: 1,455; Likes: 4,067


  3. by   caliotter3
    If I were you, I would talk to an attorney at least once. If there is something actionable there, a good attorney would be able to advise you.
  4. by   AngelfireRN
    After I speak with the Boards, if something can be done, I plan to. Thank you, cali.
  5. by   Jules A
    I have no legal background so this is just my opinion but I'm not sure why you feel they are still your patients or the practice has a legal obligation to send them your way. What would you like the BON to do? My understanding is that they are not your patients they are your former practice's patients and although its amazing that you have moved on and are running your own practice don't expect them to fill your docket. Your patients who are interested in continuing care with you will will find you and better to let them come to their own conclusion about the helpfulness or not of the previous practice in that process. Sounds like you should also make sure you are listed on google.
  6. by   AngelfireRN
    I ask because there is a statute in the code of ethics put out by the AMA that states that a physician's former practice is required to provide relocation information and offer to transmit medical records to the new place of practice.
    I did not know if it was totally meant for physicians or if any advanced provider would be covered under that particular statute.
    I am searchable on Google, they found me that way.
    I am not expecting them to send me new patients, only to provide the contact information necessary to ensure continuity of care for those patients to specifically request to still see me.
  7. by   Jules A
    Please let us know how it works out.
  8. by   casias12
    I am kind of late to this conversation, but why are NP's so brainless when it comes to this contract stuff? Honestly, NP's are operating at a high professional level, but many don't have a clue what they are doing. "I think I'll open my own practice....wait, I don't know how".

    I will add what I know, if that helps others. This is general information, not necessarily specific to this case, but is directed at the OP.

    1) Any practice you were affiliated with likely had you sign a contract. In that contract, there is usually a "non-compete" clause, which prohibits a clinician from taking patients from the practice to a different practice. Some even limit a radius that you would be restricted from working in for some period of time. This non-compete clause also restricts the clinician from contacting patients and notifying them of their new location, or encouraging them to locate them at their new location. This would even restrict the clinician from saying to patients in the final days "I am leaving this group, but you can find my new location by looking on the internet/facebook, etc."

    Non-compete restrictions can vary, but when I worked in Las Vegas, I knew a physician who had to leave Las Vegas and move to Bakersfield to start his own practice. This is extreme, but he signed it, so he had to abide by it.

    But states vary, so anyone signing on with a new practice really should have a lawyer review the contract

    Read more about this at

    2) The Board of Nursing only regulates your scope of practice. They don't regulate the business of the practice.

    3) The medical examiner examines dead people. Hence, they are a coroner. If you need them to examine your practice, your practice is already dead.

    4) Before you jump into opening your own practice, why wouldn't you hire a lawyer to make everything work? Honestly, I think the only thing you've done up to this point is buy a building and start a facebook page. What did you do for billing, EHR, contracting with medicare, medicaid, insurance for payment, hiring staff, providing for payroll, setting up tax id, practice NPI, LLC, business permit, (I'm sure I am missing something)? This stuff usually takes months, and money.

    5) I don't believe it is legal for your prior practice to forward medical records of patients to you. You were likely an employee of the practice, so the patients signed a consent-to-treat and HIPPA with the practice, not you directly. The patient would have to grant permission to transfer those records, because you are no longer part of the practice. They might tell you on the phone "sure, we will send those right over", then hang up on you and all have a good laugh. Again, this would be a question for a lawyer who could read your actual contract with that practice, but I have a feeling you don't even have a copy of it.

    Just my thoughts.