My Patient Won’t Cooperate!


Medical professionals may encounter patients who refuse to comply with parts of their medical exams.  Part B News published an article, in which they interviewed Eastman & Smith member Kevin D. Devaney, addressing this issue.  According to the article, a medical provider needs to determine if he or she can work around what the patient refuses to do as well as take the opportunity to educate the patient on why the action is necessary.  In some instances it may be necessary to end the patient relationship, but in a way that does not lead to abandonment or discrimination charges.

Mr. Devaney stated that a “provider should first determine whether they need that information to complete the work” or if there are viable workaround options.  In the event a medical professional needs to end the relationship, the health care provider needs to follow the law, inform the patient in writing and keep records of the notification, patient’s records and why the relationship was ended.  The reason should be objective and patient specific.

Bringing his perspective as a registered pharmacist, as well as over thirty years of legal experience, Mr. Devaney assists health care clients with peer review matters, compliance issues and health care-related business transactions.  Should you have any questions regarding the legalities around patient care, please contact Mr. Devaney.