Frequently Asked Questions
What programs does Practice-Legacy Programs (P-LP) provide?
We ensure practice continuity. Working closely with you, we create a customized plan to ensure that if you are unable to continue in your practice, your patients/clients are referred to mental health providers, as agreed on in advance by you and your patients/clients.
Is this the same as a professional will?
In a way. A professional will has the same goals as a P-LP program, but individual or group professional will configurations have their vulnerability points. If two clinicians, or a group of clinicians, agree to close one another’s practices, they soon realize the burdensome list of responsibilities that await them in a time of stress, when sensitive and serious matters require efficiency and compliance with privacy and ethical standards. If two clinicians agree to close one another’s practice, one will have to cope with “doing it” and then with “doing it again,” as the probability that both will cease practice at the same time is highly unlikely. It’s also unlikely that a group of colleagues will be able to maintain mutual support for the entire duration of their practices.
What responsibilities are associated with closing a colleague’s practice?
Here’s a short list:
- Compliance with the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
- Patient/client consents to make referrals when necessary, while ensuring the privacy of chart contents.
- Knowing where the colleague stores his/her patient/client charts and billing information, with access to encrypted information.
- Ensuring that new patients/clients are integrated into the practice closure plan, including signed consents and an agreement about what will happen to his or her chart upon the colleague’s death or disability, i.e., returned to the patient/client, destroyed, or referred to a previously agreed upon referral therapist.
- Knowing what happens when a new patient/client does not sign a consent to be part of the closing process, and knowing what court action is necessary to notify such individuals if they are not known to the practice closers. P-LP’s program captures these patients/clients from the practitioner with an easy to use electronic database.
- How long are the colleague’s charts to be maintained? What about juveniles? P-LP’s program automatically calculates the Destruction Date 7 years from the Date of Final Encounter for adults, and 7 years after attaining the age of majority for juveniles (some state laws may vary).
Why should I have a Practice-Legacy Program?
American Psychological Association (APA) Ethics Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct 3.12 provides:
“Interruption of Psychological Services unless otherwise covered by contract, psychologists make reasonable efforts to plan for facilitating services in the event that psychological services are interrupted by factors such as the psychologist’s illness, death, unavailability, relocation, or retirement…”
In most states, APA ethical considerations create a standard of care which can have negative effects on practitioners’ estates if a plan is not in place. The key factors are: We protect clinicians’ patients/clients, families, and colleagues. Our program 1) protects families from having to worry about patient/client calls for records or health reports, 2) protects colleagues from having to worry about whether they can review patient/client records and make contact with patients/clients when a colleague is no longer able to practice, and 3) provides for patients/clients to access their records to support their continuing care, their insurance needs, and/or any litigation in which they are involved.
What does it cost to have a plan?
Depending on our patent pending risk analysis, and the license held by the practitioner, the cost to set up a plan ranges from $135.00 to $1000.00. Thereafter, a monthly subscriber fee ranging from $25.00 to $100.00 ensures your legacy plan is kept current (we will contact you about relevant updates), customer service is maintained, and free enrollment in periodic webinars relevant to the law and ethics surrounding practice legacy programs and associated topics. Free CE credits are available for live attendance of such webinars via The Steve Frankel Group, LLC.
What if I decide to retire?
Just provide P-LP with a 90-day written notice of your anticipated date of retirement. P-LP will advise you on how to legally and ethically close your business. There is no additional fee for this service.
How do I get started?
Our system is based on copyrighted Practice-Legacy forms, to which you gain access after registering with us. The first form is the Subscriber Questionnaire which gives us a sense of the nature and size of your practice. You will then be contacted to schedule a conference call to discuss your responses. Thereafter, you will complete the additional forms on the P-LP website. Each step is overseen by our caseworkers, whom you may contact should any questions arise.
May I call or email to ask questions and obtain more information before taking the next step?
Of course. 800-925-6498, or Contact Us.
This document was last updated on September 28, 2016.