Ask ECRI: Liability for Failing to Follow Up on Referrals

May 25, 2016 | Ambulatory Care Risk Management


​A member recently wrote to ECRI Institute asking whether the organization could face liability if they refer a patient to another provider but the patient does not follow through on appointments to the subsequent provider.

In our response, ECRI Institute notes that providers do face liability in such situations. It is best to document in the medical record that the patient was made aware of the importance of completing the referral and that the office made calls, sent reminder letters, or made other efforts to follow up and encourage the patient to attend the referred appointments. This shows that the practice made an effort to ensure that the patient received recommended care. If the patient still decides not to follow through, that is his or her...

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