• Closing or Selling Your Medical Practice

    Are you thinking about closing or selling your practice? There are rules and requirements for notifying patients and the Texas Medical Board. Other agencies and entities also will need to be advised. And if you will be retiring, you have TMB licensure options to consider.


    Guidance and Resources

    How to notify employees of closing or selling a practice - The Texas Medical Association (TMA) provides advice how and when so as to benefit both your employees and the practice.

    Checklist for Retirement or Sale of Practice - TMA checklist on notifying the TMB, DEA, Medicare, Medicaid, and more.

    The Texas Medical Liability Trust (TMLT) also advises notifying your liability insurance provider's underwriting department of your change in status, all contracted entities, and hospitals where you have privileges. For addt'l guidance, see
    Terminating the patient-physician relationship - navigating appropriate notice, difficult patients, closing a practice, and more in The Reporter 2017 Quarter 4, beginning on page 11.

    TMA Publication Closing or Selling Your Medical Practice 
    If you're selling your practice, how will the antikickback law affect the sale? If you're closing your practice, how should you notify your patients and handle their medical records? This publication covers: sale of a practice; notifying patients and employees; medical record retention guidelines; dealing with subpoenas; retirement; and more.

    TMA Publication What's My Practice Worth? A Comprehensive Guide to Practice Valuations and Sales 
    From determining the most accurate way to value your practice to navigating the intricate maze of contract details, this publication walks you through each stage of the medical practice sales process.


    Sample letters for notifying patients

    TMA has a sample 'discontinuing practice' letter, a clause for transfer-custody of records practice change sample forms

    TMLT also has some sample closing/retiring letters.

    Medical Records - management/storage resources

    For a list of Records Management, Storage & Retrieval Resources in the Houston area. (This list is provided for reference only; it is not an endorsement of any of these companies.)

    Also, see our Buyers Guide page under "Custodian of Records," "Document Destruction," and "Document Scanning & Imaging."

    For info and rules governing medical records, please refer to our Medical Records page.

    Selling your practice?

    If so, HCMS can help you reach thousands of potential physician buyers in the Houston area. For info on placing an advertisement in the Harris County Physician Newsletter, see our Advertise-Newsletter page.  To search for a company that could help with appraisals, refer to our Buyers Guide under the category Practice Appraisals & Brokerage.


    Leaving a group practice?

    For info and responsibilities when a physician departs from a group practice, see our Leaving a Group Practice page.


    Membership options for retired physicians 

    If you will be retiring from practice, you may wish to talk with the HCMS Membership Dept at 713-524-4267 to discuss options for continuing your HCMS/TMA membership.


    If something happened to you...

    Have a contingency plan in place. Preparing for the worst: Planning for untimely death is vital 
    What would happen if you suffered an extended illness? Three steps that could save your practice's life 
    What if you have a serious accident or illness and are unable to work? Who will run your practice if you can't?


    Physicians Practice articles

    Selling your medical practice: 4 steps to take first
    Nine questions to ask before selling your practice to a hospital


    American Medical Association (AMA) Resources
    AMA Code of Medical Ethics - Privacy, Confidentiality & Med Records, Opinion 3.3.1 Management of Medical Records

    AMA Publication Valuing, Selling, and Closing the Medical Practice 
    A comprehensive resource to help readers understand and formulate medical practice disengagement strategies and selling procedures.




    Texas Medical Board (TMB) Rules, Notifications, and Licensure Options

    For TMB medical record retention requirements and exceptions, please refer to our Medical Records page.

    TMB Rules: 165.1(b)(5) Maintenance of Medical Records – Physicians may transfer ownership of records to another licensed physician or group of physicians only if the physician provides notice consistent with 165.5 of this chapter and the physician who assumes ownership of the records maintains the records consistent with this chapter.

    TMB Rules: 165.5  Transfer and Disposal of Medical Records - Below is a brief review of the rules:

    Required Notification of Discontinuance of Practice

    When a physician retires, terminates employment, or otherwise leaves a medical practice, the physician's required responsibilities are:
    – Ensure that patients receive reasonable notification;
    – Patients are given the opportunity to obtain copies of their records or arrange for the transfer of their medical records to another physician;
    – Notify the Texas Medical Board when he/she is terminating practice, retiring or relocating, and will no longer be available to patients;
    – Specify who has custodianship of the records; and
    – How the medical records may be obtained.

    Method of Notification  

    Notification shall be accomplished by:
    – Publishing a notice in the newspaper of greatest general circulation in each county in which the physician practices or has practiced and in a local newspaper that serves the immediate practice area;
    – Placing a written notice in the physician's office;
    – Placing a notice in a "conspicuous" location in or on the facade of the physician's office as a sign announcing the termination, sale or relocation of the practice;
    – The sign must be placed at least 30 days prior to the termination, sale or relocation of the practice and must remain until the date of termination, sale or relocation;
    – Sending letters to patients seen in the last two years to notify them of discontinuance of practice; and
    – Submitting a copy of the notice to the Texas Medical Board within 30 days from the date of termination, sale or relocation of the practice.
    – Note: As the Harris County Medical Society (HCMS) frequently receives calls from patients who are looking for their medical records, please also notify our office so we may advise these patients who/where to contact to request a copy of their medical records. Call 713-524-4267, ext. 219, or send a letter to Harris County Medical Society, John P. McGovern Building, 1515 Hermann Dr, Houston, TX 77004-7126.


    Licensure - Retirement Options

    The Texas Medical Board provides licensure retirement options.

    A physician may chose to request one of these "retired status" options or may decide to retain full medical licensure.
    "Retired status" exempts physicians from the registration process, registration fee and CME requirements.


    Voluntary Surrender or Revocation of Physician's License 

    A physician who has voluntarily surrendered his/her medical license or has had his/her license revoked by the TMB must:
    – Notify his/her patients, by following the rules of method of notification, within 30 days of the effective date of the voluntary surrender or revocation; and
    – Obtain a custodian of his/her records to be approved by the Texas Medical Board within 30 days of the effective date of the voluntary surrender or revocation.