What About Backlash?
Thiersch says doctors worry that turning away potential patients will result in bad reviews.
“My response to that is, with these patients, the chances of getting a bad review are increased no matter what. But you’d rather have a bad review where you can say I didn’t treat this patient, as opposed to saying I treated them and then they complained about my work,” he says.
Regardless of whether a doctor has treated a person, it’s important to protect the person’s privacy, Thiersch says.
Things get stickier when discharging established patients. There are rules about what to do with medical records and more.
“You can’t abandon patients in the middle of treatment, so there are certain obligations that you need to know before you actually discharge a patient. If you don’t want to get an attorney to tell you that, you should be able to find that [information] relatively easily through your state medical board,” he says.