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Topics in Practice Management |

Legal Considerations When Making a Practice ChangeChanging Your Practice

Bruce D. Armon, JD; Karilynn Bayus, JD
Author and Funding Information

From Saul Ewing LLP, Philadelphia, PA.

CORRESPONDENCE TO: Bruce D. Armon, JD, Saul Ewing LLP, Centre Sq W, 1500 Market St, 38th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19102; e-mail: barmon@saul.com


Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2014;146(1):215-219. doi:10.1378/chest.13-2292
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Changes in medical practice, such as retiring, selling a practice, and switching employment, have significant legal impacts on physicians. These decisions should be carefully analyzed prior to being made. Physicians who do not make decisions in a well-considered manner may face economic penalties, licensure sanctions, and/or other legal issues. This article explores some key legal issues including (1) timing, (2) patient care continuity, (3) medical records retention, (4) licensure and board certification, (5) professional liability insurance, and (6) postemployment restrictions on practice. Within these topics, sources of physicians’ legal and ethical obligations are examined, including possible resolutions to identified issues. Not all changes affect physicians in the same manner. This article further considers how these important legal issues may impact differently situated physicians, such as retiring physicians vs transitioning physicians and physicians employed by groups or hospital systems vs physicians in solo practice.


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