Frequently Asked Questions

What action should be taken when a patient is noncompliant or refuses to undergo diagnostic studies, care or treatment?

Answer

Document your recommendations and the patient's noncompliance. Advise the patient of the potential consequences their noncompliance or refusal may cause and document your discussion. Confirm the patient's noncompliance, your subsequent discussion, and the potential consequences in a letter to the patient sent certified mail, return receipt requested. Send a copy of the letter by regular mail as well. Consider withdrawing from the patient's care, but first review the language of any managed-care contracts that may apply to the situation and seek guidance from PSIC. If you practice in a group setting, it may be necessary to withdraw on behalf of others in the group as well as the practice.

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