Medical Practice Dissolution

Medical Practice Dissolution, Formation or Combination

medical-practice-dissolution-ncFor any number of reasons, physicians or other practitioners may decide they can no longer practice together, and some may wish to open a new practice elsewhere. Closing or dissolving a medical practice, along with forming a new group and office, can be very difficult and emotional for everyone involved — and carries with it a slew of legal and ethical issues. Unfortunately, this process can become contentious as separations are often spurred by an initial dispute between partners, and additional unforeseen disagreements arise throughout the dissolution process.

The experienced North Carolina medical practice dissolution attorneys at Zaytoun & Ballew can assist with the winding down of a current practice, help practitioners comply with State and Federal law as they break away to begin or join a new practice, and seek the best disposition for the physicians and their patients.

When dissolving a practice, physicians will want the assistance of a skilled, experienced attorney to draft a dissolution agreement tailored to the practice or physicians’ individual needs, make appropriate arrangements for patients and their medical records, distribute the practice’s assets, and resolve other issues that arise. Further legal issues may concern insurance policies, property leases, equipment leases, services agreements or health plan contracts.

Two critical concerns in any dissolution are how to handle patients and their medical records, and how to distribute the practice’s assets.

Patients and their medical records
A physician’s legal and ethical obligations to his or her patients do not end when the practice dissolves. Federal and State laws contain strict protocols for physicians, requiring them to safeguard patient medical records and give advance notice of the dissolution — so patients can make arrangements with other treaters and collect or transfer their records. At the law firm of Zaytoun & Ballew, our experienced lawyers know the legal and ethical pitfalls physicians should watch out for when a practice dissolves to satisfy these and other duties to patients.

Practice assets
When dissolving a medical practice, a wide range of assets require distribution. These can include valuable accounts receivables, expensive medical equipment, or the real property and office building space. Sometimes, existing contracts, such as employment or shareholder agreements, determine how the practice’s assets are to be distributed. But this is usually not the case, and disputes may arise between partners on what to do with any joint assets.

Winding down a medical practice is difficult, and arrangements should be made for collecting accounts receivable post-dissolution, operating the practice’s bank account, and distributing equipment and real property. An experienced lawyer at Zaytoun & Ballew can help throughout this potentially thorny process.

Contact Zaytoun & Ballew today for a free consultation.