Taking pts with me to another compan

  1. I know it may sound cold, but is it illegal to take my patients from another hospice company I'm working for to a better one I will be starting? Not really "taking" but transfer with their consent of course.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    Not ethical, but not illegal, unless either party has signed some sort of clause in a contract forbidding this. Often hh companies have non-compete clauses in effect for employees and/or clients with a monetary penalty for violating the clause. Could be $2500 or $5000 liquidated damages. An employee who engages in this type of behavior can expect that they will not be getting favorable references from the agency in the future.
  4. by   meanmaryjean
    Yeah, you do NOT want to run afoul of a non-compete clause. If you want another job, fine- get one. Expect to care for different clients.
  5. by   holistic1028
    I see, just asking bcause I've accepted an offer with a much better equipped agency but I hate to leave SOME of my cases behind
  6. by   twinsmom788
    I discovered as a surveyor that every patient has the right to choose their hospice provider. I investigated several complaints that a patient was"forced " to use a certain company for various reasons . If any patient and their family is informed about the move and has a doctor's order then it should be ok and especially if the services are better.
  7. by   meanmaryjean
    Quote from twinsmom788
    I discovered as a surveyor that every patient has the right to choose their hospice provider. I investigated several complaints that a patient was"forced " to use a certain company for various reasons . If any patient and their family is informed about the move and has a doctor's order then it should be ok and especially if the services are better.
    It is true that patients have the right to choose their care provider within the limits of their payor agreement. However, to have a direct caregiver involved in the process of change is skating on very thin ice- legally speaking. Again, the agreement a nurse signs in terms of non-compete spells out the consequences of 'encouraging' this action.
  8. by   Nashvillejeanne
    I would not entice patients to follow me...You are not a hairdresser I love hairdresser's but we are professionals. Right?
    Peace
    "Everything I have learned in life is from those with no life left"
  9. by   toomuchbaloney
    I have changed agencies and it is not ethical to suggest that your patients should change their agency at that time. If you say anything to them which causes them to question the care they are receiving it is unethical and unprofessional unless you are willing to file a formal report outlining how the agency is delivering substandard care or putting the patients at risk, IMHO.

    Say your goodbyes, tell them that it was a privilege to work with them and you wish them the best, yada yada, and move on.
  10. by   TammyG
    I see nothing at all unethical or illegal about suggesting that patients transfer with you. I do not think that most hospices have employment agreements with their RNs -- I have worked for several hospices and have never signed an employment agreement -- and RNs rarely have access to the type of confidential information that is intended to be protected by an employment agreement. Further, I would question whether any provision that precludes an RN from working for another local hospice with the same patient population is legal. Non-compete agreements must be very narrowly tailored, are disfavored by the courts and are narrowly construed.

    In any event, I certainly see nothing wrong in any way with telling your patients that you are transferring to another hospice, and that they have the legal right to transfer their care if they wish, but that your replacement nurse will provide excellent and continuing care.
  11. by   heron
    Well, I haven't got a textbook-ready rationale for it, but the idea seriously skeeves me out. While the OP might well be a highly skilled and compassionate nurse, beloved by all her patients, I still wouldn't do business with her.

    Besides, there's always unintended consequences. When you bite the hand that feeds you, others tend to be less inclined to reach out.

    So, unless the OP is trying to protect patients from catastrophically bad or fraudulent care, seems like wicked bad Karma to me.
  12. by   TammyG
    Absolutely true that she will upset people at her old employer. In fact, her new employer may not want her to take on these patients because it might hurt the relationship between the two hospices. But whether it is a bad idea is a different question as to whether it is unethical or illegal.

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