Relocating a Medical Practice
Category: Physician-Patient Relationship
Under Review: No
Issued by Council: January 1, 2010
Reissued by Council: January 9, 2014
- For the purpose of this standard, relocating a practice is defined as moving a practice within a distance that patients could be reasonably expected to travel to the new practice location. If the move is to a location beyond which patients would normally be expected to travel, Standard 22, Closing or Leaving a Medical Practice, applies.
- A physician who relocates a medical practice must notify the College of the move in advance.
- A physician who relocates a medical practice must provide and document notification of the move to patients and colleagues in the practice a minimum of forty five (45) days in advance of the move. The notice must include the dates of the move, the new location and contact information and the time frame that patients will be permitted to follow the physician to the new location.
- Notwithstanding section (3) above, the 45 day notice does not apply to a physician if the reason for relocating a medical practice is due to circumstances beyond the physician’s control. In these cases, patients must be notified as soon as is reasonably possible given the circumstances.
- A physician who relocates a medical practice must allow current patients the opportunity to follow him/her to the new practice location for a period of no less than twelve (12) months unless the physician has substantially altered his/her scope of practice or the physician relocates more than twelve (12) months after leaving or closing an earlier practice.
- A physician practising in the location where another physician had previously practised must provide information upon request to any member of the public, profession or another regulated health professional about the new location of the physician who has moved, if it is known.
- A physician who relocates a medical practice where another physician is assuming this practice location must ensure there are information sharing agreements relating to management of patient charts for those patients who will continue to have care provided by the relocating physician. The information sharing agreement must, at a minimum:
- identify which physician(s) will maintain custody of the patient records;
- describe who is responsible for costs if copies of the record are provided to a physician who is a party to the agreement; and
- reflect costs that are reasonable, and consistent with applicable legislation and community standards.
- In order to ensure continuity of care, a physician practising in the location where another physician had previously practiced must:
- provide the departing physician with access to and/or copies of outstanding investigations, consultation reports and other information requested by the departing physician as it relates to ongoing care for those patients previously attended to by the departing physician.
The CPSA Standards of Practice are the minimum standards of professional behaviour and ethical conduct expected of all physicians registered in Alberta. Standards of practice are enforceable under the Health Professions Act and will be referenced in the management of complaints and in discipline hearings. About the CPSA Standards of Practice