How does a jury or media feel about NP firing patient over a bill?

  1. Hi Lorie

    Is firing patients for non-payment seen differently than firing patients for other reasons such as violence at the office? Especially where the patient may not be able to get another provider in the 3 other providers and "You have 30 days." that most articles state is the standard to D/C a patient.

    The exact issue is I work in a Community Mental Health Clinic as an NP in a very poor neighborhood. Our manager who is not a prescriber wants to tell the patients if they don't pay any of their past balances like old co-pays etc. that she will fire them and issue the 30 day letter.

    My concern is it may take them more than 30 days to get a new provider. Even then the other CMHP may not take them as they limit their patients to geographic area, or it may take 2 or 3 months for them to be seen by another prescriptive provider.

    I said we still liable for their medications until they are seen by a prescriptive provider for refills or worse the lapse in medications result in a severe return of symptoms maybe causing a suicide or legal consequences.

    One article I read was concerned about how a jury or the media would feel about the NP firing the patient over a bill.

    What do you think?

    Dear Firing Patients for Non-Payment

    As an employee of a community mental health clinic, you are in a difficult position. If the health clinic has a policy to fire a patient for nonpayment and the patient agreed to that when they became the patient, the facility has every right to take that action. How would it affect you in a medical malpractice case? If you are giving them the 30-day letter and providing referrals, you should be safe.

    I agree that the media would have some concerns about it because these facilities are putting profits over patients' wellbeing.

    Wishing you the best,
  2. Visit Lorie Brown RN, MN, JD profile page

    About Lorie Brown RN, MN, JD

    Joined: Mar '18; Posts: 63; Likes: 116


  3. by   rn_patrick
    What about providing medication past the 30 day window if they cannot get services? In my area Psych Prescriber appointments can be 2-3 months from initial intake with social work.