February 14, 2017
If a patient doesn’t reply to phone calls for test results, are we required to contact them by certified mail? We currently use certified mail, nine out of ten patients never sign for the letter. The letter just tells them we have your results and to call office for appointment. Certified mail is $6 a letter great expense.
No, you are not required to send a certified mailing under any circumstance; you do have to utilize reasonable means to contact the patient. Certified mail is recommended if you are sending snail mail and wanted proof you notified the patient. However, you can simply make the notations in the chart you attempted to contact, and how. You can also start shifting to email, read and delivery receipt for the patients if they will consent to communication that way and you can secure your transmissions. If you elect to use a file share or patient portal, your transmissions are traceable so you have proof of sending as well as knowledge of whether the patient has accessed.
Hope this helps!