Care Partnership Protocols
General Care Partnership Policy
- Dr. Richardson does not engage in “blanket” referral arrangements or agreements for routine care or referral of patients.
- Dr. Richardson complies with the federal anti-kickback statute which prohibits “a payment or other remuneration in return for or to induce the referral of a patient for services that may be paid for by Medicare, Medicaid or certain other governmental health care programs.“
- Under no circumstances will a care partnership arrangement be implemented without the patient’s consent.
Patient Choice and Consent Program
Referred patients will be informed, if clinically appropriate, of the option of having a portion of their care provided by a practitioner other than Dr. Richardson. Our office will describe what’s involved during surgery; post-operative care protocols; and the risks, benefits and logistics of the care partnership arrangement. Care Partnership shall only be employed if the Patient chooses it.
In addition to a signed informed consent to undergo the procedure, our office will also obtain a signed record of the patient’s consent to be under a care partnership. This consent form, signed by Dr. Richardson, participating optometrist and the patient, includes:
- acknowledgement that the patient understands the logistics of the arrangement
- acknowledgement of the financial details of the arrangement
- acknowledgement that the patient has been informed of Dr. Richardson’s and Participating Optometrist’s qualifications to provide care
- authorization for the providers to share information relating to the patient’s health and vision
- acknowledgement that Dr. Richardson will be available in the event of a complication.
All parties shall receive a copy and both doctors shall file the consent form as part of the patient’s permanent record. The informed consent process takes place prior to the surgery and shall always involve the patient. At no time will a care partnership arrangement be implemented without the patient’s consent.
Coordination of Patient Record
A successful care partnership, in order to result in optimal patient outcome, relies on effective communication and cooperation between all parties. With this in mind, Dr. Richardson and Participating Optometrist agree to:
- (in instances of care partnership of post operative care) provide each other a copy of the office visit notes. In this way, should there be any need to examine the patient in the case of an unanticipated outcome, a complete set of records will be in Dr. Richardson’s file.
- communicate during the post-operative period to assure the best possible outcome for the patient.
Division of Care and Billing Protocol
Prior to surgery, the patient is informed of Dr. Richardson’s fees and agreement in writing is obtained. This agreement includes:
- an itemized list of charges and a detailed explanation of what’s included in the charges
- acknowledgement that Dr. Richardson bills separately for services rendered
- agreement that the patient makes a separate payment, i.e., separate check or money order, to Dr. Richardson (If the charges are financed, the lender pays Dr. Richardson directly)
Dr. Richardson’s surgical fee varies and depends on his involvement on pre- and post-operative care. Regardless of involvement, Dr. Richardson’s fee is billed separately and directly to the patient. Dr. Richardson’s fees reflect the amount of work involved and represent a fair market value. In no instance would Dr. Richardson’s fees include rebates and/or payment for referral, upholding the principle, among others, that care partnership arrangements should be driven by the patient’s best interest and not by financial considerations.
Dr. David Richardson has voluntarily opted out of the Medicare program in 2012. In order for Dr. Richardson to care for anyone with Medicare after December 31, 2011, a “Private Contract” must be signed by both the patient and Dr. Richardson. This is a Medicare requirement.
Dr. Richardson’s Obligation
It is Dr. Richardson’s responsibility to determine the patient’s suitability for surgery and arrange for appropriate postoperative care with the foremost consideration of the patient’s best medical interest.
Following surgery, transfer of care from Dr. Richardson to the referring doctor should occur when clinically appropriate at a mutually agreed upon time or circumstance. Details of transfer shall be documented via correspondence and included in the patient’s medical record. A written transfer agreement between Dr. Richardson (who performed the surgery) and the receiving doctor shall be signed by all parties. This transfer agreement contains Dr. Richardson’s discharge instructions and effective transfer date.